So far the battle of personal assistants has been confined to your house and phone, but Garmin’s latest accessory aims to bring the power of Alexa to your vehicle while you drive. Dubbed Garmin Speak, this little camera-looking device hangs in your peripheral vision on the windshield and allows you to request things using Alexa’s skills.
You can stream your music playlists and podcasts, audiobooks, check the weather, and even listen to the news and sports updates all without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. This should be especially useful for stopping the temptation to whip your phone out to change tracks or switch music stations.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Garmin device without GPS capabilities which gives you turn-by-turn spoken directions with the Garmin Alexa skill. Simply saying, “Alexa, ask Garmin” will trigger the skill for getting turn-by-turn directions to your destination. These include lane guidance arrows, upcoming turns, and even alerts when you’re exceeding the speed limit.
You’ll need to have the Garmin Speak app installed on your smartphone in order to use this feature and it’ll use your phone’s data connection to stream Alexa responses, so you’ll probably want to have an unlimited plan if you plan on using this thing for daily navigation and music control. It’s also powered by a microUSB cable that runs from the unit to your car’s USB ports.
The device is now available for $149.99.