Amazon’s amazing Echo is about to go mobile
Amazon is reportedly working on a smaller, battery-powered Echo that will go on sale “in the coming weeks.” The device is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, but it will be missing one of the existing’s Echo’s best features.
“The new device, code named “Fox,” is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of a user’s hand, like a beer can,” reports The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with Amazon’s plans. It’s thought the new device resembles a Beats Pill speaker, but sits vertically, rather than horizontally.
Being smaller and battery-powered, the new Echo can be moved around your home or office easily, so it’s always by your side. It can then be charged on a docking station when it’s not in use, and it will boast almost all of the same functionality as the larger Echo.
One important features will be missing, however.
The Journal adds that the smaller model “responds to voice command only by push-button,” meaning you can’t just say its name when you want to get its attention. But this is thought to be “a necessary compromise to preserve battery life,” ensuring the new Echo lasts long enough in between charges.
Originally intended to be an experiment, the existing Echo has been a surprising success for Amazon, and has been well-received by critics and consumers, who praise its functionality and voice recognition. Since making its debut, the device has attracted over 30,000 reviews, and boasts a 4.5-star rating.
Amazon has been working to expand Echo’s capabilities, adding traffic and weather reports, Yelp recommendations, and streaming music services to the ability to create shopping lists, get answers to questions, create reminders, and more.
The existing Echo is priced at $180, but it’s thought the smaller model will cost less to attract more buyers.
- SourceThe Wall Street Journal