Garmin on Tuesday introduced the Garmin Speak, an Amazon Alexa-enabled device that sits above your car's dashboard. Close in size to an Echo Dot, the Garmin Speak is a 1.5-inch device with an LED illuminated ring and OLED display that can display information like turn-by-turn directions.
The Garmin Speak gives drivers access to Alexa's voice skills that include voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, weather, and more.
Garmin has also included Garmin GPS turn-by-turn navigation, which can be activated with voice commands like "Alexa, ask Garmin to find the nearest rest stop." Turn-by-turn navigation is packaged with the Speak and doesn't require a subscription. It provides spoken directions with street names and shows arrows on the display with audio prompts to indicate which lane you need to be in for your next turn or upcoming exit.
Alexa responses and directions stream through your vehicle's stereo system through Bluetooth or AUX. The position of the Garmin Speak above the dash and in-view of the road could help a driver better focus on driving, rather than looking down at their phone or infotainment system.
Amazon has been working with hardware manufacturers to add Alexa to as many devices as possible. It allows OEMs to access a full AI assistant and developers on the cheap. They're taking advantage of it, as we saw at CES 2017 in January.
The Garmin Speak is available Tuesday on Amazon and at Best Buy for $149.