In Amazon’s quest to make Alexa available everywhere it has released everything from the Flex – designed to plug directly into a mains socket – to the Echo Buds which plug straight into your ears.
Now, it is finally making the Echo Auto, which plugs into your car, available in the UK, having launched a while back in the US and recently in Australia.
It’s a small box which has eight microphones to hear you over your car’s engine, road noise and air conditioning, and which relies on your phone for an internet connection and your car stereo for sound.
The Echo Auto costs £49.99 and you can buy it from Amazon, Argos and Very.co.uk.
It isn’t the first device to bring Alexa to cars in the UK: there’s the Roav Viva and Nextbase’s Series 2 dashcams, some of which have Alexa built in like the 522GW. The Viva plugs into you car’s 12V socket but has USB ports for charging your phone.
The Echo Auto can also be powered by a 12V socket or – depending upon your model of car – one of its USB ports.
Although there is a built-in speaker, you’ll need to connect the Auto to your car’s audio system via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm aux input. And, of course, to hear Alexa’s responses you’ll need to set the audio system to the respective input.
It’s a neat way to add Bluetooth to older cars which don’t have it, but do have an aux input, as you can use the Auto to stream music and other audio from your phone to your car speakers, as well as use it for hands-free phone calls.
The Echo Auto is designed to sit on your dashboard or in the centre console, but Amazon also sells an optional air vent mount for it.
The company says you could use it to listen to an Audible audiobook, play music, make calls, manage reminders, add items to your shopping list and even play games.