Amazon's Alexa takes two new forms
Internet retailer, Amazon, has announced two sibling products to the Amazon Echo, the cylindrical household assistant with voice-based operating system, Alexa.
The first product, the Amazon Tap, is a slimmer, shorter, portable version of the Echo. The Tap runs via rechargeable battery and connects with phones and the Internet through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
The Tap acts as an ordinary wireless speaker for a phone, but it also provides Alexa on the go, allowing users to do things like ask about the weather or tell it to play a song. The Tap will begin shipping at the end of the month and will sell for about $130.
The second product, the Echo Dot, is a small, hockey-puck shaped version of the Echo, minus the speakers. The Dot is meant to provide Alexa’s voice functions for existing speaker systems. The Dot connects to existing speakers via a wire or over Bluetooth, at which point it functions as another Echo.
The Echo Dot will begin shipping at the end of the month and will sell for about $90. Sales will initially be limited to people who already own an Echo or one of Amazon’s Fire TV devices (i.e., a Dot buyer will have to ask Alexa to order a Dot).
“The response has been nothing short of incredible,” David Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president for devices, said at an event on Wednesday, according to The New York Times. “This is almost unprecedented in the history of Amazon, to see this much demand and love for a product.”