In the coming weeks, Amazon is expected to release its portable version of its voice-activated tabletop Echo speaker known as Fox – a device that responds to voice commands and also able to control other connected devices, the Wall Street Journal writes.
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Fox is seen as a compact digital assistant by Amazon, and the company aims to blend it into everyday use. About the size of Pringles can, Echo is plugged into an outlet before it can respond to questions and play music or create shopping lists among other things such as controlling connected lights via voice commands and sells for $180.
But Fox is expected to sell at a lower price to beat competition. It all began as an experiment to test voice activation and gather information about consumer behavior, but it has now morphed into a commercial product that is capable of enhancing residential life while fetching Amazon some cool income in the process.
Echo comes with an Alexa software that detects its name when mentioned, something users were not initially comfortable with. But considering that it can detect and respond to voice commands from another room and work as a personal digital assistant, the device has gone on to receive very positive reviews here and there.
With over 30,000 positive reviews, Amazon went on to add traffic and weather reports to Echo, also including Yelp restaurant suggestions as well as streaming music stations and other home services to the device’s capability.
To this extent, Amazon went on to strike up a partnership with Ford Motors so as to include Alexa software into Ford vehicles so that garage doors among other things could be opened by just saying it via voice commands.
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Fox is not plugged into an outlet like Echo, but it has a docking station that has a button which must be pushed to activate voice commands, something that is seen to conserve battery life. Singapore-based Flextronics International is hired to build Fox device. But both Amazon and Flextronics spokespersons would not respond to request for questions.