Friday 04-03-2016 11:00
Amazon Extends Echo Range with Dot and Tap
Amazon's full Alexa-powered range: Tap, Fire TV, Echo, Echo Dot (l-r)
Amazon is extending out its Echo smart home line with the addition of two new devices: the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot.
Both devices are powered by 'Alexa', Amazon's virtual assistant software, and are only available in the US.
The Dot is, as the name suggests, a shrunk-down version of the Echo. It does have its own small built-in speaker, so it can be used as a smart alarm clock or kitchen assistant, but for the full experience it can be connected to a set of existing speakers via Bluetooth or audio cables.
The Dot costs $89.99, and can only be bought by Prime members through an Alexa device – meaning its availability is limited to Echo and Fire TV users – using the voice command “Alexa, order an Echo Dot”.
The Tap, meanhwile, is a portable Bluetooth and wi-fi speaker which hopes to take the Echo out of the home for the first time. It promises a longer battery life (up to nine hours) because, unlike the always-on voice controls of the Echo, it's only activated when the microphone button is pressed.
The Tap will be launched at the end of the month, but is currently available for pre-order at the price of $129.99.