Amazon (AMZN) has revealed more Echo devices in its pipeline, which include Echo Auto. This allows users the convenience of Alexa on the road and gives drivers of many vehicles another choice for voice-activated services.
The aftermarket device, revealed in September, was created with an eight-microphone setup and hands-free speech recognition technology. This lets Alexa hear the driver’s voice over noise from things like traffic, air conditioning or music.
The technology device works in vehicles with or without a Bluetooth connection. Even without a Bluetooth connection, users can listen to their favorite playlist using an auxiliary cable or by purchasing another accessory such as FM transmitter or cassette tape adapter.
For connectivity and other features, drivers will be required to download the free Alexa app onto their smartphones. This is available for carriers with Fire OS 3.0 or higher, Android 5.0 or higher and iOS 9.0 or higher.
Amazon has been actively moving into automotive dashboards. In the summer, it released an Alexa Auto Software Development Kit to make it more simple for programmers to build Alexa into automotive infotainment systems.
Automakers such as BMW, Ford Motor Co. (F), Volkswagen’s Seat brand and Toyota Motor Corp. have begun working to integrate Alexa into their vehicles. Developers including Anker and Garmin have created aftermarket devices that include Alexa as additional models. The kit — available on GitHub under the Apache License, Version 2.0 — will let other automakers and suppliers do the same.
“We’ve been making tremendous progress in the automotive space, working with automotive companies to build skills or directly integrate Alexa into new car models or accessories,” Amazon said in a statement. “We think people driving these cars want to use Alexa too, and that’s why we built Echo Auto.”