Even if your car or campervan doesn’t have a shining new entertainment system with a myriad of external connectors, you can add voice control to your car. Most importantly, you can easily add speech-enabled navigation (you don’t need a dedicated GPS device), access to news, and music. The small gadget that does all this is the Garmin Speak.
The Garmin Speak is a small and relatively affordable device ($150) because it makes use of two other products. Amazon Alexa speech recognition system brings speech, answers to your questions and audio responses to the Garmin Speak. Your smartphone provides the Internet connection to the in-car device so it can communicate with Alexa while on the road.
The gadget is installed on the windshield or dashboard, somewhere where you can see the small display, and lead a power cable to the vehicle’s electricity outtake point.
I like the concept of speech-enabling even an old trusty motorhome, or any vehicle you are using for your road trips. Especially, if the navigation works well in all parts of the world, it is very helpful, and adds safety to driving in high-stress situations in unfamiliar places. As the review video shows, there are some teething problems in the product, but nothing that couldn’t be solved in the near future.
Currently, the Garmin Speak is available in the US, but if/when it becomes available, for instance, in Europe where drivers cross borders sometimes without noticing it, the issue with the smartphone data plan must be kept in mind.
Here is a live review of the Garmin Speak by Mike Mu when he is actually driving along the roads of Los Angeles and asking for directions and other information from Alexa.
Garmin Speak key features and specifications
Dimensions: 37.5 mm x 37.7 mm
Display size: 17.2 mm x 9.6 mm (0.68″ x 0.38″)
Display resolution: 114 x 64 pixels
Display type: OLED with LED light ring
Weight: 37.6 g
Power from vehicle (cable included)
Amazon’s Alexa voice service: Talk to Amazon Alexa through the Garmin Speak.
Free- and subscription-based music services available via the Speak. Ask Alexa for music by artist, title or genre (Spotify not supported at this time).
Listen to news, audiobooks, podcasts.
Order home delivery, shop Amazon.
Remotely control smart home devices
Customize features and explore thousands of skills in the Alexa app or the Alexa Skills Store.
Turn-by-turn GPS navigation: Say, “Alexa, ask Garmin…”
Automatic map updates
Connected navigation (Cloud-based navigation)
Spoken turn-by-turn directions with lane guidance
Hands-free calling: Accept/decline incoming calls
Garmin Speak connects to the Alexa voice service via your smartphone’s Internet connection. A Bluetooth-equipped Android, iPhone or tablet is required with active data plan.
Compatible with Android 5.0 and later, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5; iPad Pro (12.9 inch) 1st and 2nd generation, iPad Pro (10.5 inch), iPad Pro (9.7 inch); iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2, iPad mini, iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 2 and iPad 3rd generation, 4th generation and 5th generation.
Alexa responses and music streamed through vehicle stereo (if compatible). Vehicle stereo connection via AUX (cable sold separately) or Bluetooth.
Garmin Speak app must be downloaded to the smartphone during setup.
Use the ree Alexa app to connect to your Amazon account.
Via The Next Web.