Amazon Expands Echo Family With Mini Version & Mobile Speaker
Echo Dot offers similar functionality at half the price, while Amazon Tap is a portable speaker that includes Alexa voice recognition technology.
Amazon Echo got smaller and more mobile with the launch of two new Echo-related products announced today.
The Echo Dot is a smaller and less expensive version of the original Echo. It’s only 1.5 inches tall and costs $90, while offering all of the same voice-recognition features of its bigger predecessor. It has a built-in speaker, but likely not with the same audio quality as in the bigger Echo; on the other hand, Dot comes with a cable that will connect it to your own speakers and can also connect it to other speakers via Bluetooth. Amazon is positioning Dot as a complement to Echo that works in other rooms around the house
One of the things that has separated Echo from other personal assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Now is that Echo isn’t mobile. Or it wasn’t. Amazon has also announced the Amazon Tap, a portable speaker that comes with Alexa’s voice-recognition technology. Amazon is positioning this as the Echo that you take with you on the go — to the beach, on a picnic and so forth.
For now, the only way to pre-order Dot is using the voice-ordering functionality on an existing Echo or Fire TV. Amazon Tap can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com for $129.99.
The Echo and competing personal assistants — like Google Now, Siri and Cortana — were a big topic of discussion this week at our SMX West conference, when Google’s Behshad Behzadi delivered a keynote in which he said, “the future of search is to build the ultimate personal assistant.”