Garmin thinks Amazon Alexa in your auto is the next big thing


The Garmin Speak does not look like an ordinary Global Positioning System. It's a tiny little thing, measuring just around an inch-a-half with a LED light ring and an OLED display that shows turn-by-turn directions.

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". Whilst it has been possible to use Alexa from your vehicle previously by mounting your phone and using the Alexa app, this is the first device that has been designed with this goal in mind.

Need directions? Say "Alexa, ask Garmin to route me to" where you're going. The audio will actually be routed through the car's sound system.

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This is the first time Garmin has offered a device with both its own navigational tech and Alexa, and it could be a decent way to give a vehicle a technological boost in the absence of something like Android Auto.

The device works alongside the free Garmin Speak app; it syncs with the phone running the app, utilizing the handset's own data connection and abilities. What's more, the Garmin Speak integrates Alexa services through the auto stereo, meaning you can listen to music, audiobooks, news and weather through a full-fledged sound system (comparatively) instead of tiny speaker. For example, the Logitech Zerotouch hands-free auto mount offers Alexa's services for $24.99. However, Garmin's solution is interesting because it allows the driver to put away their phone and use its low-distraction hardware.

The Garmin Speak is now available through Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers for $150, around the same price as some of Garmin's other in-car models.