It's a tiny little thing, measuring just around an inch-a-half with a LED light ring and an OLED display that shows turn-by-turn directions. Turn-by-turn navigation is packaged with the Speak and doesn't require a subscription. From its perch above your car's dashboard, Speak allows drivers to access Amazon Alexa voice skills with the hands-free "Alexa..." keyword. The system also goes a step further than most, enabling users to control their home automation devices via Alexa in the vehicle; this includes turning off (compatible, connected) lights and adjusting thermostats.
Users can ask Garmin Speak to find the nearest gas station, barbecue restaurant or other destination just by talking out loud, the company said.
"The interaction between the two technologies offers drivers a truly unique opportunity to turn their words into actions while keeping both hands on the wheel", said Garmin's Dan Bartel.
"Our vision is that the Alexa service will be everywhere our customers want it, including inside the auto". Garmin says that the system can even be used to launch interactive games to keep passengers entertained. Need to add milk to your shopping list on the way to the grocery store? Once synced, it will use the driver's phone data connection to stream Alexa responses, music, and navigation through the vehicle's Bluetooth, or through an AUX cable.
To begin using Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa, start by downloading the free Garmin Speak app. Logitech's Zerotouch smartphone mounts with their companion apps gained Alexa earlier this year. 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 auto. For more information, visit garmin.com/speak.