A new 1.5-inch device from Garmin is essentially the first Amazon Echo Dot for the car.
The “Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa” lets user ask by voice for map directions, songs on demand, news, traffic and more. Users may call up songs by artist, title or genre. Or they can ask for the nearest gas station, or coffee shop.
Users can say, “Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my order,” or “Alexa, play 90s music.”
The Garmin Speak can also access weather and sports and it lets you remotely control home devices such as lights, locks and thermostats from your car.
The tiny device has an LED light ring and it has an OLED display to show lane guidance arrows that complement spoken turn by turn cues.
“We are excited to be the first to offer Garmin GPS navigation and Amazon Alexa’s intuitive voice service in the new Garmin Speak,” said Garmin VP Global Sales Dan Bartel.
Amazon’s VP Automotive, Ned Curic, said, “Our vision is that the Alexa service will be everywhere our customers want it, including inside the car.”
The device is always ready to take commands. Users download a free Garmin Speak app and once the Garmin Speak is synched with the app, it will use the driver’s phone data connection to stream Alexa responses, music and navigation through the car’s audio system via Bluetooth or a AUX connection. Users also get hands free phone support including the ability to accept incoming calls so users can stash away their phone.
Suggested retail price is $149.99. The product is available now through Amazon or Best Buy.