Another technology company is aiming to bring Amazon’s Alexa into the car.
San Francisco-based Speak Music, the company behind the Melody personal music assistant, this morning announced a new $50 device called Muse that relies on the user’s smartphone data connection to connect to Amazon’s voice-enabled assistant, and links to car stereo and entertainment systems via Bluetooth, USB or AUX input.
The device, slated to start shipping in December, is the latest move to bring Alexa into the car. Garmin unveiled its Alexa device, a $150 device called Speak, in October. Amazon has also announced deals with major automakers including BMW and Ford to integrate Alexa.
Muse is a budget device by comparison. It’s activated in the car via the “Alexa” wake word, like other Alexa-enabled devices. The $50 list price equals the cost of an Amazon Echo Dot, which some drivers have been using in a similar way in the car. Unlike the windshield-mounted Garmin Speak device, the Muse is designed to mount on the dashboard or center console.
Speak Music says the voice-activated Muse device can access all of Alexa’s 25,000 voice skills, allowing drivers to control smart-home systems from the car, in addition to streaming music, radio and podcasts, and checking the weather, stock quotes, and other standard Alexa capabilities.
On many newer cars, the company says the device will integrate with multimedia systems to display album art and weather images, in addition to working with steering wheel controls. In addition, the company says the device supports hands-free HD voice calling through the car stereo.
Muse is currently available at discounted rates through an Indiegogo campaign.