Alexa-Equipped Garmin Speak Is Like an Echo Dot for Your Car

The Garmin Speak can be secured to a vehicle's windshield with a magnetic mount.

Amazon sees the Speak allowing drivers to control smart home devices like lights, locks, and thermostats while on the road, being fed news and traffic updates, adding items to a digital shopping list, ordering take-out, updating a calendar and a host of other tasks available from the Alexa Skills Store.

Amazon wants its Alexa voice assistant to be everywhere - even in the passenger seat of your auto to help with directions. Lane guidance is shown on a 0.68 x 0.38 in (17.2 x 9.6 mm) OLED display surrounded by an LED light ring, and spoken turn-by-turn directions are output, too.

"Alexa, play "Goin" Mobile' by The Who".

However, the Speak has a few extra tricks up its sleeve that make it particularly suited for use in the auto. Just say, "Alexa, ask Garmin to route me to the nearest gas station", "Alexa, ask Garmin to find brunch" or "Alexa, ask Garmin for directions home".

Granted, it appears the Garmin Speak brings more functionalities in terms of Alexa interactions.

The device works alongside the free Garmin Speak app; it syncs with the phone running the app, utilizing the handset's own data connection and abilities.

Turn words into actions with Garmin Speak voice service, your always-ready driving companion. Garmin Speak can be wirelessly connected to a car's speakers over Bluetooth or through a regular wired 3.5mm cable if the auto is older.

The Speak is the first in-vehicle device to pair hands-free Alexa access with Garmin navigation software, but it's not the first partner to bring Amazon's voice service into the auto. Since users get the full range of Alexa skills, they will also be able to control their smart devices at home as well as place orders on Amazon without having to get out of the vehicle.

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