Amazon brings Echo Auto in India
In India, Amazon has come up with a smart speaker for in-car usage - Echo Auto. It uses eight microphones and far-field technology to hear users in the noisy traffic conditions also.
For its use a small router-like gadget needs to be connected to the vehicle’s 12-V charging socket or USB port and connected to the car’s music system. Also it needs an Amazon account and the Alexa app.
Once installed, users can ask Alexa to play music, make calls and send messages to phone contacts, set reminders, read out Kindle books or audiobooks, get sports or news updates etc. The Echo Auto device will be available for ₹4,999.
For audio playback, the device needs to be connected to the car stereo system with a 3.5 mm auxiliary cable or a Bluetooth connection. It connects to Alexa through the Alexa app on a smartphone, and uses an existing data plan to stream music, make a call or send messages to phone contacts.
With its eight-microphone array, the Echo Auto enables customers to talk to Alexa over music, A/C and road noise. Users can stream ad-free music from Amazon Prime or access music from other providers such as Apple Music, JioSaavn, Gaana or Hungama Music or even just say “Alexa, play road trip songs.”
Echo Auto users can make hands-free calls to any contacts saved on their smartphone. Android phone users can also send text messages.
It can connect to the phone and defaults to its mobile network for calls and text messages to contacts that are saved in the handset. It will use mobile data for Echo-to-Echo ‘Drop-in’ and making announcements on other Echo devices.
Echo Auto uses the default navigation app on the smartphone and its data plan to provide directions.
For privacy, one can use a mic on/ off button that electronically disconnects the microphones. Customers have control over their voice recordings — with the ability to view, hear and delete utterances at Alexa Privacy Settings or in the Alexa app, at any time.