It may be time for Siri and Google Now to move aside, because Amazon’s Alexa is joining the battle to make your car smarter, thanks to an innovative new aftermarket accessory called HeadsUp.
The San Francisco-based startup has been working together with Amazon to bring its well-known and intuitive voice assistant to the road, and unlike other systems, you don’t need to install a complicated head unit get this functionality. The device is available for pre-order for $300 (40 percent off its expected retail price of $500) and will ship this fall.
The device itself is a saucer-shaped disc that sits on your dashboard and features a 6-inch display that shows helpful information such as directions and upcoming speed traps or accidents while driving, and a noise-canceling microphone and HD speaker setup for conversing with Alexa.
That means you can control all the smart devices in your house while driving, so you can get home quickly after work and arrive to a perfect 70 degrees and a little Burt Bacharach wafting from your Sonos speakers.
The device gets data from your phone (iOS or Android 5.0 or newer) and connects via 802.11ac Wi-Fi. There’s also built-in Bluetooth 4.0 so you can stream audio to your cars speakers wirelessly, or connect to compatible Bluetooth OBD devices in order to see your car’s diagnostics.
HeadsUp also features two built-in cameras: a 5-megapixel shooter facing the driver and a 16-MP camera facing the road. This gives you the ability to snap pics or film your face at 720p/30 fps while also offering a dash cam that records your driving at 1080p.
The company claims HeadsUp should last for about a week on a charge, and when the juice runs low, all you need to is plug in the included micro USB cable.