Report: Amazon's About to Release a Portable Version of Echo

Amazon’s possibly dystopian Echo voice-controlled speaker might be coming in a new portable version soon, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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The new version of Echo will supposedly be charged on a dock, and it will only respond to voice commands after a button is pushed. The latter makes sense because the original Echo’s always-on listening capabilities would chew through battery too quickly to be practical. According the WSJ, the new device will be smaller than the original Echo, and it will fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.

It’s not totally clear that a smaller Echo is something people really want, but if you see the voice-controlled speaker as a descendant of the Bluetooth speaker, portable powers could definitely help springboard the technology.

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Obviously this is a rumor for now, but if we’re to believe the WSJ, we’ll know more very soon.

[WSJ]


Contact the author at maguilar@gizmodo.com.

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DISCUSSION

boilerdam33
boilerdam3

This kind of beats the purpose of Alexa IMO. The whole point was to have an always-listening “Big Brother” assistant sitting in a corner. It would be summoned with a command without any extra effort, pair up with a bunch of devices, do what you wanted and go back to dormancy. The user doesn’t have to do much. Carrying a portable Alexa is like carrying Siri or Cortana or Google on your phone... why would anyone want a second device? Well, we don’t know what it can do but just calling it a “Portable Echo” is enough for people to start judging. Unless, Amazon will start licensing Alexa to other companies. Interesting...

Sadly, I think Amazon is losing its way with Echo. They had a winner and 1 year on, they seem to be losing focus. Updates have become far in between, their app store is just a collection of hobby devs’ codes and most users’ daily use has dwindled to ask Alexa to activate a few light switches or sports scores. I feel they should’ve been more aggressive. None of the other tech giants have anything like Alexa and they’re concentrating on mobile tech to interface with homes. Amazon’s failure in the Fire Phone could’ve been taken as a boon and push their entry into home automation... but they haven’t been aggressive enough.