Garmin teamed up with Amazon to make a tiny Echo Dot for your car
At a recent Amazon event, the company announced BMW would integrate Alexa into its 2018 models. It's no secret that Amazon wants to stick Alexa anywhere and everywhere it can, and BMW is only the beginning. The latest company to announce a collaboration with Amazon is Garmin: the wearable and navigation device manufacturer revealed the new Garmin Speak today, a small disk-like device that installs on your windshield and brings Alexa voice commands into your car.
Describing the Garmin Speak device as "disk-like" is the polite way of drawing a comparison between it and Amazon's Echo Dot speaker. Essentially, the Garmin Speak is a smaller, 1.5-inch-wide version of the Echo Dot, complete with a circular, glowing blue LED status light. Inside that circle is an OLED display that will show arrows, icons, and numbers as it provides audible turn-by-turn directions. The Garmin Speak comes with a windshield mount, making it a device you could easily confuse for a dash cam with just a quick glance.
But the Garmin Speak does not have the essential outward-facing camera like dash cams do. Instead, the device is solely a home for Garmin Speak software and Amazon's Alexa. As with any other Alexa-toting device, you can summon Alexa with your voice through the Garmin Speak, asking for news, weather, sports, and other updates. You can also use Alexa to ignore or accept phone calls, and you can also control music search and playback so you can ask to hear a new song, artist, or genre without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. Alexa's smart home controls work when you're in the car as well, so you can ask Alexa to turn on your lights before you pull into your driveway.