Jensen (Namsung America) is introducing at CES this week two of the first Alexa-equipped car radios.
In one Jensen AV receiver, Alexa is embedded in the radio (ALX2) and in the other, the radio pairs with an Alexa app (ALX101). In both cases, users can simply ask Alexa for information.
Namsung said that consumers want Alexa in the car because, “…for many people the car has become an extension of their home and office. Additionally, the improved voice control … reduces the need to look at and touch the receiver while driving, improving users’ safety.”
With the ALX2, users can launch Alexa by voice or a button and ask to play music, get directions, place calls, and more. And Alexa will control the radio volume, station turning and mode switching. Users also get voice-controlled navigation with the included antenna. Alexa further provides smart home controls and access to tens of thousands of Alexa Skills.
The ALX2 also includes gesture control to switch between multimedia modes so drivers can keep their eyes on the road. Users can swipe left or right to change between commonly used radio and media player modes. They can also swipe down to make a Bluetooth hands-free call or swipe up to start navigating.
The ALX2 does not need a companion app since the head unit has Alexa Auto built-in to it. However a smartphone connection is still required for an Internet connection.
The deck was built using the Alexa Auto software developers kit. It includes three built-in far–field microphones for a clear audio response even in noisy automotive environments. The receiver is SiriusXM-Ready with 3 pairs of 4V preamp outputs, a 10 band EQ, and backup camera input with audio.
The double DIN ALX2 has a 6.8-inch capacitive touchscreen and will ship in April at a suggested $249.99.
It is joined by the ALX101 mechless (CDless) digital media receiver. Users pair the phone with Alexa and launch a companion app. Once connected, drivers get typical Alexa features. The single DIN receiver also includes two far–field microphones, three preamp outputs, and front panel USB input with FLAC playback. It was developed using the Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) Kit.
The ALX101 will be available in April at a suggested $119.99.
Both Alexa decks will be on display during the 2019 CES at the Westgate hotel, suite #2809, January 8-11, 2019.