5 reasons why you should open the doors of your car to Amazon Echo Auto

Wherever you may go, take Alexa along…

We’ve welcomed Alexa in our lives in many forms. 

A digital slave, AI butler, someone to talk to when no one’s home, our quick-access fact searcher, music player – we’ve accepted and adapted to that sweet voice in more forms than we’d like to admit. The one space it was missing from was our cars. And since most of us urban commuters spend a decent fraction of our lives commuting to and from work, Uncle Jeff (Bezos) announced Echo Auto – an in-car device, during the recently-concluded CES. 

Priced at ₹4999, it’s an expendable device and yet it doesn’t fail to impress. We went for a short drive in an Alexa-enabled car, and here are 5 reasons why we came back convinced to expand our Echo-verse…

1. It’s a strong, independent device

That’s right. Unlike the Echo Dot, you don’t need a supporting device or an enabling instrument to get started. You’ve spent your teenage years fighting to be acknowledged as an individual, free of expectations and pressure. Echo Auto is just like you – individualistic and independent. Even if your house isn’t Alexa-friendly yet, your car can be. Just plug-in the device, download the app and get started.

2. Plug-in is easy peasy lemon squeezy

Like most Echo devices, setting up Echo Auto is also child’s play. Having thought of modern-day connectivity, a USB cable and power adapter find its way into the box, along with a 3.5mm AUX cable in case your daddy hasn’t upgraded your vehicle in close to a decade. Plug-in and get started…

3. It’s a do-all-you-want deal

Connected home, connected car – it’s a full package. From making calls to contacts, to dialling numbers, navigation and playing music on demand, this mighty little AI butler is at your beck and call whenever you summon her… while driving, of course. And if your home is already a smart one, then you’ll find it easier to control other Alexa-enabled devices around the house remotely too. Bark some commands from the car and they shall be answered at home. At least someone listens, right?

4. Private as can be…

One of the two buttons on the device is to keep paranoia in check. Though the makers insist Big Boss isn’t always listening, let’s be careful nevertheless. Even though all Echo devices only respond to the wake word (Alexa, or any other you may set up on the app) in order to protect your privacy, you have the option of turning the microphone off when you don’t need it. Rest assured, your car conversations are safe as houses.

5. The joys of being hands-free

Voice-controlled navigation (deferred to the navigation app on your phone since there’s no display on the device), calling, texting, even commanding other connected devices back home means your hands don’t leave the steering and your eyes aren’t off the road even for a moment. The eight microphones pick up commands even when kids in the back seat refuse to keep it low. There’s nothing it can do that your BT-enabled car or phone can’t, but an Alexa-enabled car is one you'd want to try out at least once for yourself...