SmartThings Community

The new Amazon Echo Auto

(Steve Phillips) #1

I was accepted by Amazon to be one of the first people to purchase the new “Echo Auto” at a discounted price. Just finish installing it in my F-150. The Echo Auto pairs via Bluetooth to my phone and my phone pairs to my truck via Sync Bluetooth. Fairly easy install and setup. Showed up right away in my Echo Speaks program. Played around at the office, turning lights on and off at the house. Had Alexa look up directions to a restaurant. She quickly found directions and show them on my phone via Google Maps. Overall pretty neat so far. Will continue to play around to see what else I can do. Anyone else get an Echo Auto? Anybody have any cool ideas as far as integration with home SmartThings/Echo ecosystem?

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(MS) #2

The Unicorn Exists!! Thanks for posting. If possible, pls continue this thread with updates on it!

(MS) #3

Would you mind posting image of their notification message? Curious as to what it says, so I don’t quick-delete by accident. Really looking forward to this product.

(Steve Phillips) #4

Will do. Right now its seems it maybe a useful novelty. I must admit though, it is pretty cool to ask Alexa for things in my truck.

(JIm) #5

I wish my invite would come thru.

1 Like
(JB) #6

I’d love to be part of it!

(Steve Phillips) #7

Echo Auto

Dear REDACTED,

Your request for an invitation to purchase Echo Auto has been granted. We hope you’ll have as much fun using it as we did inventing it.

Please be aware that Echo Auto currently works with Android smartphones only . iOS support will become available later this year.

To accept this invitation, go to the [Echo Auto detail page], add to cart, and purchase as usual. You will receive a delivery confirmation when your order is ready to ship. Due to the high number of requests, this invitation will expire after seven days after we’ve sent it to you.

By purchasing Echo Auto during this limited-release period, you agree to receive an email asking for your feedback on the product. As one of the first customers to use Echo Auto, your input will help to drive future Echo Auto features.

Thanks,
The Echo Auto Team

I did remove a few links, as they linked to my Amazon account.

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#8

Very cool. What you are getting there is the hardware to give you much better voice recognition. And I think a few additional features. Oh, and the ability to play the sound through your truck’s speakers.

It’s also good to know you can use the Alexa app hands-free on your phone and get many of the same features if you also have voice navigation enabled . And the app option works for iOS users as well. :sunglasses:

I use this on the iPad on my wheelchair, although it’s certainly much more clunky than the echo auto would be. I use Siri to open the app and then voiceover navigation to hit the blue button. So that creates even more interactions where road noise or the air-conditioner can throw things off. But it’s still useful for some situations.:sunglasses:

If you don’t need it to be totally hands-free, you open the app and hit the blue button and then you can access Alexa by voice.

The biggest advantage of the new device is the following:

  • With eight microphones and far-field technology, Echo Auto can hear you over music, A/C, and road noise.

The air-conditioner is a very real problem if you’re trying to just use the app in the car. But it’s a decent backup plan for some use cases while you’re waiting for the echo auto to become available. :sunglasses:

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(Steve Phillips) #9

Agreed. With the Alexa app, you could always open it, and press the Alexa button…Way to much to do while driving. The Echo Auto also uses her standard lights (a bar instead of circle) as wall as the “I’ve heard you tone” which is optional on other Alexa home devices. It does feature a line out via 3.5mm double stripe jack. You must connect your phone to the Echo Auto via Bluetooth, but from there you have options as far as connecting to your vehicles audio system.

2 Likes
(MS) #10

@JDRoberts, are you saying that it’s possible to speak Alexa commands to iPhone, hands free? iPhone can full-time listen for Alexa command??

#11

Let me check… I use it totally hands-free, but to be honest I don’t even Remember if I have to voice open the app first or not.

(Steve Phillips) #12

I do know with the Android Alexa app, you have to push the little blue “Alexa button” for her to listen, similar to the Amazon Fire tablet if you have hands free turned off.

(MS) #13

At a minimum, I’d expect that your screen cannot be locked. Otherwise a stolen phone would have full device access.

#14

OK, I’ve fixed my post above so it’s more specific.

There are three separate questions.

  1. can you use Alexa on your phone or tablet while you’re at the office or in the car to actuate devices controlled by your home echo device? The answer that one is sure, you can just use the Alexa app. It does not have to be on the same Wi-Fi as the echo device.

  2. Can I make a voice request of the app instead of having to drill down through the menus? The answer to that one is also sure, you can voice enabled the app in settings and then there will be a blue logo at the bottom of the Alexa app screen, and once you tap that, you can speak directly to Alexa. Also, location-based inquiries will be based on the location of the device you are speaking to, Not the at home device.

  1. can I do all of that hands-free? The answer to that is also yes, but it’s not simple the way it will be with the echo auto. You have to have enabled some kind of hands-free navigation for your device. For an iOS device, that would probably be Siri combined with voiceover.

So for me, I have an iPad mounted on my wheelchair. I tell Siri to open the Alexa app, I use a voice navigation favorite to bounce right to the blue dot, and then I am speaking to Alexa and can control the devices at my house. Or ask for directions or whatever.

I’m not sure what the android equivalent would be, or if Bixby on a Samsung phone can do it.

For those of us who already control our phones and tablets hands-free, you kind of do that automatically, particularly on an iOS device, so the only question left is does the Alexa app work in a remote location. And it does. :sunglasses:

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(JIm) #15

On Android you can set the default voice app to Alexa rather tha Google. But you still have to push and hold the home button to be able to start talking. OK Google used to Be able to unlock phone, but they just removed that feature. So with either google or Alexa the steps are same. Unlock phone, pish home button and hold briefly which then activates whichever voice you haveconfigured. Since Google will no longer unlock phone I changed mine to Alexa as it seems to be a lot more responsive. Am eagerly awaiting my auto, but im probably a ways down on the invite list.

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(Steve Phillips) #16

I used Ok Google alot. I loved that I could say “Ok Google unlock phone” and the facial recognition would unlock phone. Used it all the time when driving. Was sad when they discontinued the service.

3 Likes
(Trandzung) #17

Can you post some photos of this Echo Auto ?
I’m interested in the power plug. Thanks.

#18

“demand is through the roof,” said VP of Alexa Auto Ned Curic. Over 1 million requests have come in for car assistant.

The Auto can be powered in one of two ways, either via your car’s 12V power outlet or a regular USB port, if you drive something reasonably modern.

Random unboxing video

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#19

Note that at the present time it only works with android phones, and not all android phones. In particular, it will not work with a Huawei phone, but there are some other models as well.

The following link is courtesy of Mashable:

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(Trandzung) #20

Both 12V power outlet in my 2017 car are always on !!! USB port is ok. Thanks a lot.

1 Like