Amazon Gives The Gift of Echo Auto to the Auto World
Now you can take Alexa wherever you need to goby Kirby, on
Older vehicles that have no access to Amazon’s Alexa can now enjoy the benefits of the AI app courtesy of the new Echo Auto device. Measuring just 3.3” x 1.9” x 0.5”, the Echo Auto is a handy device that can be connected to any car that has a stereo system and a driver or occupant with a smartphone. Echo Auto doesn’t pick and choose which stereo it’s compatible with. Even vintage AM/FM 8-track players are compatible with the device. The Echo Auto cost $49.99.
Amazon’s Echo Auto should come in handy for a lot of old cars that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to get the AI app for one reason or another. It’s small enough to be discreet, and it only weighs 1.6 ounces, or literally less than one pound. It’s designed so you can mount it to your car’s dashboard, and other than its sleek design, you probably wouldn’t even notice it’s there. It’s designed so you can mount it to your car’s dashboard.
Bluetooth connection is the preferred method of connection.
The device can connect wirelessly to most radios with Bluetooth capability.
If that’s an issue, it can also connect through an auxiliary input courtesy of a micro-USB cable that’s included in the package. If that fails, Echo Auto can also connect to all sorts of third-party FM transmitters. Imagine the device broadcasting itself through a traditional FM frequency. That’s Black Mirror-levels of surreal.
Once the setup is complete, all you need to do is start your car, and the device will come to life. It connects within seconds, too, allowing you to make calls and use a variety of apps, including Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Waze. Echo Auto can also play music through your car’s audio system, either through Bluetooth connectivity or simply through an auxiliary cable. If you want to take advantage of the device’s functionality, Echo Auto has what Amazon describes as an “eight-microphone array” that enables the device to hear your commands even with road noise surrounding it. Performing voice commands can be an issue itself because the device doesn’t hear your commands properly. With these eight microphones, Amazon claims it has addressed that issue so Alexa won’t confuse your command to check the weather as “Check is better?”
The scope of what Alexa can do is incredible. According to Amazon, it has 50,000 skills (or apps) that allow it to handle a full range of tasks. Whether it’s offering driving directions or finding your preferred music, it can do it without breaking a sweat. It can do your grocery list for you, check for current news, and turn on your house lights just as you’re about to pull in on your driveway.
Amazon’s Echo Auto is a big step in advancing AI connectivity on the road, especially for cars that wouldn’t have access to it on their own.
Unfortunately, buying Echo Auto isn’t as easy as it looks. You can try your luck on Amazon’s invitation-only pre-order list where it will sell for just $25. Otherwise, you’re going to have to wait for the product to officially hit the market. That’s not happening until next year, and you’re going to have to pay full price ($49.99) for it. Either way, though, there’s a chance to hit the modern times with Echo Auto in tow. I can’t see any reason why anybody doesn’t at least try it out.
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