In-car Alexa

Demo of in-car Alexa.  You definitely need the sound on for this!

3rd Dot added to the collection today.  This one is for the car and I’m surprised just how easy this is.  I’m running the Amazon Dot from the cigarette lighter socket which is always on with my car, although it does cut out for long enough to reboot the Dot when I actually start the car.  No worries though.

The Dot connects to the internet using my Samsung Galaxy S6 as a WiFi hotspot.  This was easy enough to do through the Alexa app.  It then connects to the car stereo via Bluetooth.  Luckily, on mine, it doesn’t ask for a PIN or it would be impossible as the Dot doesn’t support connecting to a device with a PIN.  Again, this was all done through the Alexa app.

Once it all connects, all the usual functionality of Alexa is available to you.  I need to test it properly but it would be nice to think I could turn the heating up when I get close to home.  Geolocation on the app isn’t great so this gives me more control.  What I have done is use Alexa to stream music.  It works fine both on random songs I’ve asked for, and on playlists I have on my Amazon Prime Music account.

The other thing I want to try is the ‘Dropin’ function.  This is quite a neat feature with the Amazon devices.  If I know someone with an Echo or Dot, I can say “Alexa.  Drop in on Mum”, for example, and it will connect me to her so we can have a voice conversation.  It works in the house too.  From the bedroom, I can say “Alexa. Drop in on lounge” and use it as an intercom.  What I’m interested to see is whether it will work if I’m out.

It’ll also be interesting to see on a longer drive how much data it uses.  I’ve only got 4GB a month at the moment and I suspect this could plough through that on my 2.5 hours a day commute.

For the moment, it’s proof of concept and I’m really pleased with it.  You can get the second generation Amazon Dot here.