We’ve seen Apple and Android engrain themselves in the in-car entertainment experience with CarPlay and Android Auto. So, obviously, the next company in line to do something in the car is Amazon. Epsilon Electronics announced that it’s Soundstream brand will introduce the first-ever Alexa-enabled head unit at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
The 6.2-inch LCD touchscreen display will also include DVD/CD/MP3 functionality, AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. But the main star here is definitely Alexa.
“We knew that it was just a matter of time before Alexa technology was integrated into a traditional head unit,” Paul Goldberg, Epsilon vice-president, sales and marketing, said in a statement. “With the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), the line between car and home will become interconnected and increasingly blurred. Soon we will be controlling our homes via Alexa and our cars. This is an important first step. Voice command is so natural that the next steps in development are pretty obvious for the car.”
Soundstream explained that its VRA-67B head unit integrates Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service in ways similar to how the consumer interacts with a traditional Amazon Echo. Drivers can ask for news and entertainment updates, reminders about upcoming appointments and meetings, and ask for directions to nearby destinations all through Alexa voice commands.
The head unit is expected to ship to dealers during the second quarter of 2018. It will be on display at the Power Acoustik booth at CES 2018 located in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (#3057).