Smart devices are taking over our homes and it won’t be long before we get to use them everywhere including our cars. While there are quite a few voice-command enabled vehicles in the market, they are not quite as responsive as the home devices like Alexa Echo devices. Even the latest Honda City offers Alexa remote features but you cannot actually talk to Alexa in the car. The industry-first feature allows you to get updates on the car and start the engine but doesn’t actually allow you to give commands while driving the vehicle. How to come around this problem? Well, you can connect the regular Amazon Echo devices to your car and here is a way to do it.
Connect Amazon Alexa to your car
We are not sure if anyone has done it in India but the directions are simple and you only need a few USB cords and an aux cable. For the demonstration purposes, an Amazon Alexa Dot 2nd generation is used but you can simply use the third-generation Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Show too. For that, we will share the details towards the end. Buy Amazon Echo Dot here
Since the 2nd-generation Alexa came with a micro-used port charger, it is much easier to set-up. To power the Alexa, you will need a 12V socket, preferrably with two outputs, if you do not want to use the mobile hotspot. To set-up, you can power the Alexa using one of the USB output and connect the Alexa to your car’s stereo using an aux cable. This will allow you to listen to all the things that Alexa says through the car’s speakers. Now to provide Internet connection to Alexa, you can either use your phone’s hotspot on the go or get a small USB powered dongle. You can connect the dongle to the free output of the 12V socket and you have a moving hotspot that can be used by other passengers too.
You can place the Alexa on the dashboard or near the footwell as long as it is not too away from your face. The closer the device is to the face, the reception of commands become better. For sticking the device, double-sided tape or velcro can be used.
How to connect Echo Show and other Alexa devices
To connect the other Alexa devices including the 3rd-generation Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Show devices, you will need an extra device. Since these Alexa devices are powered by plugs that run on AC (Alternating Current), you will need a car inverter that converts the DC to AC in your car. There are plenty of such devices in the market and you can buy them to simply plug into the 12V socket of the vehicle. You can also use the inverter for charging your laptop and other small devices. Buy car inverters here
But wait, there’s Alexa Echo Auto available
Alexa launched the Alexa Echo Auto made for cars. It is a small device without any speaker or display on it. The Echo Auto relies on your mobile data so it does not require any dedicated hotspot running for it. However, the price of Amazon Echo is ridiculously high compared to the other Amazon home devices. In India, the Echo Auto is priced at Rs 5,000 while the Echo Dot 3rd generation is only Rs 3,500 while you will find the older 2nd gen Echo Dot for even cheaper. If saving money and a little bit of interesting DIY are a few things that you want to do while setting up a Smart Device in your car, the Echo Dot makes much more sense. But if you prefer this, buy Echo Auto here.