With Alexa’s ever-increasing popularity, new Alexa-enabled products deliver almost daily. Some are duds – some are interesting and valuable. When new and interesting products are available, we take a look at new and important Alexa add-on hardware you might want to consider adding to your Alexa device farm.
Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Echo 2, Dot, Tap, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Look, Echo Connect, Dash Wand, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition TVs, in the Music app, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai.
This week’s hardware: Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa
Description: Turn words into actions with Garmin Speak voice service, your always-ready driving companion. This small, interactive device combines the hands-free convenience of Amazon’s popular Alexa Voice Service technology with reliable Garmin GPS street navigation.
- Stream music playlists and podcasts, play audio books, check the weather, and listen to news, sports stats or traffic updates -all while keeping your hands on the wheel and your smartphone stowed away
- Place orders for home delivery of goods or food, create shopping and to-do lists, update your calendar, and remotely control smart home automation such as lights, locks and thermostat
- Access exclusive Garmin turn-by-turn spoken directions by saying, “Alexa, ask Garmin ”; display shows lane guidance arrows, upcoming turns and driver alerts when exceeding posted speed limits
- Choose from thousands of skills available in the Alexa app or Alexa skills store
- Requires download of the free Garmin speak app to your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone; Garmin speak uses your phone’s data connection to stream Alexa responses through your vehicle’s stereo system
Real world use: Seriously, who wouldn’t like to have Alexa in the car? I’ve seen some people who have performed some weekend DIY and outfitted their car with an Echo Dot. There’s also products like the Logitech Zero. And, many of upcoming new car releases will have Alexa embedded into the computer system.
But, this latest add-on gadget from Garmin seems to be the right mix for now. It combines Garmin’s powerful and market-leading GPS services with all the Alexa services you can bundle. It can connect over Bluetooth to your car stereo to deliver your favorite playlists and podcasts, manage your smart home devices remotely, and be at the ready to answer your most difficult queries.
Most of you know I’m a Garmin ecosystem fan when it comes to the fitness wearable industry and this has me left wondering (and hoping) if Garmin may integrate Alexa with its wrist-worn fitness devices soon.
We have one of these on the way for testing. Stay tuned for a formal review.
Where to get the hardware: Amazon has the Garmin gadget for $149.99: Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa
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