If you think it looks like a miniature Echo Dot for your car, you’re basically spot on. The Garmin Speak is a GPS navigation unit with Amazon Alexa built-in. It was announced yesterday and is the first in-car device of its kind to add Alexa capabilities. At just an inch and a half, it’s tiny, and yet it offers the same turn-by-turn GPS navigation as Garmin’s other products while also including Amazon’s smart assistant.
Garmin Speak will hook up to your car stereo speakers, giving a voice to the device and allowing you to ask Alexa to stream music, tell you the weather, or read you the news. And to get directions, you just have to say “Alexa, ask Garmin for directions to…” There are also interactive games if you need to entertain the family on a long trip. Another useful application is the control of smart home devices remotely. If you forgot to turn your lights off, no problem, just ask Alexa to turn them off.
Anything you already do with Alexa on an Amazon Echo can be done with the Garmin Speak. Hands-free operation also extends to phone calls, so you can leave your phone in your pocket while driving. The device has a small 114 x 64 pixel OLED display surrounded by an LED light ring, and it comes with a power cable and magnetic mount. It also has a built-in speaker if you don’t want to connect it to your car stereo via Bluetooth or an AUX cable (not included).