According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has developed and is set to launch a more affordable, portable version of Amazon Echo in the coming weeks. Reportedly shaped like a Beats Pill portable speaker, but able to stand vertically, the portable model of Echo will not feature always-listening software, so as to cut back on power usage. To interact, users will need to press a button in order to give voice commands to Alexa.
The idea of a portable Echo would be for users to either carry one with them at all times, or to have multiple units – one for around the home, one for the office, car, etc. Given the portability aspect, users will need to charge the device via a dedicated dock. Speaking on the design, sources state it will fit in a user’s hand comfortably, possible resembling the size and shape of a beer can.
The standard Echo seems to be popular among owners, at least according to the Amazon reviews. People like the provided weather overviews, listening to Prime Music, and adding items to their shopping list. On top of that, Amazon is constantly adding new features to Echo.
No mention of a price was reported, but really, how much could Amazon charge for this? $50? $99? If I have to press a button to interact, and need to charge it every now and then, why would I not use my phone for these tasks?
What’s your take on it?