Technology

Amazon unveils Echo Auto

Dashtop unit to allow advanced connectivity through AUX input

Amazon has unveiled a new in-car device that will enable users to access its Alexa voice assistant, as well as a raft of other advanced infotainment capabilities.

Dubbed the Echo Auto, the device will connects to the user’s phone through Bluetooth, and to the car through either Bluetooth or a 3.5mm auxiliary input.

The device is designed to sit atop the dash of the user’s car, and features eight built-in microphones to recognises different voices.

Amazon claims that when tuning the Echo Auto, special attention was paid to the unique noise characteristics of cars with factors such as road noise, air conditioning and in-car audio all taken into account during development.

Features of the Echo Auto include Waze and Apple Maps integration, allowing the user to ask Alexa to find a location and have the device send directions their phone.

The Echo Auto is also capable of detecting when you have arrived home and, if the owner has a compatible smart home, integrating with other smart devices to unlock the front door or turn the lights on.

In the United States, the Echo Auto will be initially available for $34, if you request an invitation from Amazon to try out the pre-release hardware. Once it's fully developed, the Echo Auto will sell for $68.

This isn’t the first time that Amazon Alexa has been available in a car, with Genesis, BMW and Lexus all featuring Alexa integration in various forms.

Australian availability of the Echo Auto is yet to be announced.