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Amazon Starts Shipping the Echo Auto

Amazon Echo Auto

Amazon has made it easy to put Alexa in every room of your house through a growing range of Echo smart devices in all shapes and sizes. But one Echo device announced back in September still hasn’t appeared for purchase. It’s called the Echo Auto and allows access to Alexa in your car.

As TechCrunch reports, the Echo Auto listing on Amazon doesn’t have a buy button, you can only request an invitation to pre-order it. However, Amazon confirmed this week that the Echo Auto is being shipped out to customers who placed a pre-order, with some of them arriving in time for Christmas.

Steve Rabuchin, VP, Alexa confirmed how popular the Echo Auto is proving to be by saying, “We had over a million [pre-order] requests … Now, we’re just starting to ship.” What remains unclear is when Amazon plans to drop the invitation button and allow anyone to buy the Auto. We can only assume there is a supply problem making it difficult to meet the pre-order demand.

The Echo Auto connects to your car stereo via Bluetooth or an AUX connection and needs a USB port for power. It also requires a link to your smartphone and its data plan to be fully-functional. Once setup, you can talk to Alexa and have her responses heard through your car speakers. She’ll have no problems hearing you as the Auto uses eight microphones and far-field technology to counteract road noise, music playing, and the hum of A/C.

Thanks to the link with your smartphone, the Auto can be used for navigation, accessing music playlists, audiobooks, figuring out where the nearest gas station is, opening your garage door, making calls, getting the latest weather report, and the list goes on. Alexa skills will continue to add functionality as the Auto becomes more common and developers think up new uses for it.

If you want an Echo Auto, request an invitation and then sit and wait. With units already shipping it hopefully won’t take too long for all pre-orders to be met. Another good reason to pre-order is the price, which is currently 50 percent off at $ 24.99.

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