Alexa’s next frontier – the automobile.
Amazon’s Alexa has come a long way since its debut on the original Echo back in 2014, both from a software perspective and hardware availability. Amazon has steadily been increasing its own first-party gadgets with Alexa built-in, and we’ve seen a host of third-party devices with the famous assistant as well. The latest of these is the Garmin Speak, and it finally brings Alexa right into your car.
The Garmin Speak is a circular GPS unit that attaches to your vehicle’s windshield, and it measures in at just an inch and a half long. On the front of the Speak is a circular OLED display that shows lane guidance arrows and how much further you have to go until your next turn, and surrounding this is a blue LED light similar to what you’ll see on Amazon’s Echo devices. The Speak can connect to your car’s speaker system via a wired auxiliary connection or wirelessly with Bluetooth, and this will allow it to announce audio-guided navigation.
However, since Alexa is built into the Speak, you can do much more than get directions to work in the morning. Want to pick up a pumpkin spice latte on the way to the office but you’re running short on time? Just say “Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my order”, and you can have your morning coffee ordered without having to ever touch your phone.
The Speak is finally making GPSs cool again.
You have the entirety of Alexa in your car with the Speak, meaning you can check the weather, control smart home devices, play interactive games, and even accept or reject incoming phone calls thanks to the integration of Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree technology.
Garmin says that the Speak will use your phone’s data connection for powering all of its functionality, and you’ll be able to add skills and new features to Alexa on the Speak by downloading the Garmin Speak and Amazon Alexa apps on your phone and linking the two with one another.
The Garmin Speak costs $149.99 USD, and it’s available for purchase now at Amazon and Best Buy.