Amazon has unveiled two new portable devices designed to amplify the role its voice-controlled assistant Alexa plays in people’s homes and lives. The Amazon Tap is the shorter sibling of one of the best-selling gadget since 2014, the Echo aka the Alexa. The Echo Dot is the compressed edition of Echo, a tiny, hockey puck-like device without the speaker part. It has a built-in line-out connector to hook directly into another speaker or can be connected to your choice of the speaker over Bluetooth.
The device looks familiar, merely identical to Amazon Echo, just sliced off the top of the voice-powered digital assistant. It has the same array of microphones, voice recognition technology, and a built-in tiny speaker, but not that powerful as the Echo, though. Priced at $90, the device works in the same way as Alexa does. It has to be plugged into a connector for power. You can ask questions just like Alexa, right from getting the current weather forecast, dim your Philips Hue lights, turn off your thermostat, or control your smart devices around your house. And, of course, it responds.
You can place several of these around your house, ask them to do your intended tasks, but it works only inside that room. You can’t network them into a multi-room audio line, just like Sonos, for instance. With the latest update, Amazon Echo now even plays songs from Spotify.
The Echo Dot goes on sale today. You can’t buy Dot unless you have an Echo or a Fire TV. Not one, yet. It will begin shipping later this month.
Amazon Tap is something that you would carry with you, a Bluetooth-enabled portable speaker with built-in Wi-Fi and of course, Alexa operating system. As the name suggest, you’ll have to tap the microphone button to interact with it.
Unlike Alexa, the Tap doesn’t need to be plugged in.You can grab it and go anywhere, which utilizes cloud data for functioning; however, you will need to connect to WiFi or a mobile hotspot for that function to work.
A fully charged Tap will last for up to nine hours of playback or three weeks in standby mode. Duel-firing Dolby speakers enable Tap to provide rich, 360-degree quality sound. The Tap will be retailing for $130, and will ship by the end of March.