Amazon Echo expands to two new Alexa-enabled products
The Amazon Echo Do is a voice controlled device that is created to work like the Amazon Echo, although the device appears to be smaller than the Echo. But at 1.68 pounds, it's a bit on the heavy side and needs to be powered from a wall socket. Who's going to buy one now that they're more accessible and more capable than ever?
While its big brother has a speaker that can stand on its own, the Dot has a speaker that is mainly just there to facilitate communication.
The Echo now ranks among Seattle-based Amazon's top-selling items in consumer electronics, although the company hasn't specified how many have been sold so far. The company has announced two Alexa-enabled devices that use the same voice search and virtual assistant technology as Echo, an Internet-connected speaker with voice-enabled search services.
Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that will play music, provide information, read the news, set alarms and control smart home devices.
The Echo Dot, priced at $90, represents Amazon's attempt to expand Alexa's household presence beyond the kitchen or another room where the Echo typically remains anchored. The Echo Dot is basically the Echo's little brother (or sister if you're so inclined). There is no "add to cart" button on the Amazon website for the Dot. The Amazon Tap supports many music apps such as Spotify, Pandora and iHeart Radio. The Tap requires you to tap a button with a microphone icon near the top of the unit to ask it to perform some task. Amazon is also promoting the Tap's portability, marketing it as a speaker you can take with you on the go. Amazon eventually released the Echo to the public, for $80 more than the beta testers paid. It's made to be portable, with nine hours of playback time and three weeks of standby on a single charge.
The difference with the Dot is that Echo's full-size speaker is gone.
Where the Echo has a 2.5 inch woofer and 2.0 inch tweeter, the Tap has a pair of 1.5-inch drivers with dual passive radiators for bass extension. Amazon launched its effort in 2014 with its Echo speaker, using the same kind of artificial intelligence employed by Apple's Siri, Google Now and Microsoft's Cortana, among others.