With the CES 2018 tech extravaganza now under way in Las Vegas, companies are busy showing off their wares for the next 12 months – and those wares include the Roav Viva Bluetooth charging kit from Anker, complete with built-in Alexa smarts.
That's right: Amazon's digital assistant is no longer confined to your kitchen top and can now go anywhere you go, charging up your phone and offering hands-free voice calling and audio streaming at the same time.
The device looks much like your standard USB car charger, and plugs directly into a 12-volt power point. You get two USB charging points for your phones, an LED light ring indicating Alexa status, and two pinhole microphones, as well as a mute button when you'd rather Alexa wasn't listening in to your family arguments.
Have Bluetooth, will travel
Everything that Alexa can normally do for you, the Roav Viva can do in your car – make calls, turn on your house lights as you roll up the drive, play music, get directions, order pizza and so on. There are now tens of thousands of Alexa "skills" you can make use of.
All the connectivity and processing is handled with a connection to your phone, so it's a handy way of adding smarts to your motor if it's got a rather dated infotainment system installed. As long as your stereo can handle Bluetooth, the Roav Viva should be able to inject some extra smarts into your ride.
For now we only have the US pricing of $50 but that works out to around £37 or AU$64. Preorders are open in the US now, with global availability to follow, Anker says. If you want anything else with Alexa installed, the choice is growing and growing.
- New year, new tech – check out all our coverage of CES 2018
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.