Amazon working on a handier, more portable version of the Echo

It’s a fair bet that Amazon wasn’t expecting to get the amount of success it has with the Amazon Echo – which was probably one of its best products last year. The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker in form, but at heart, it is a voice-activated digital assistant-slash-home automation hub. We’ve talked about it at length, and it turns out that a lot of people actually liked the product. So the online retailing giant is doubling down on the technology, with news that it will be creating a more portable version of the Echo, and one that runs on batteries.

The Amazon Echo is all sorts of amazing, but it is still a “one room, one location” device because it needs a power source. Fast forward a few months and a thousands of units of the Echo sold and the Seattle-based outfit is planning for a handier version. If rumors hold true, the device is codenamed “Fox”, and will sell for lower than the USD$180 selling price of the Echo.

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The Echo started out as a digital assistant with nothing more than music, information, and shopping lists as its arsenal. Now, the Echo has taken in home automation – you can turn connected lights off and on with just a voice command to “Alexa”.

With a handier Echo, maybe it can graduate to actually incorporating your calendar, maps, directions, and other stuff that Siri and Cortana can do. If Amazon pulls this off, smartphone-based digital assistants may just have found their competition. Rumors say that this will be the size of a beer can, smaller than the Pringle-sized Echo. Think of a Beats Pill speaker unit, only upright. That’s handy alright.

VIA: Wall Street Journal

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