Anker is joining the in-car Alexa market with their new Roav VIVA. It’s a 2-port USB charger for your car that comes with a pair of far-field microphones and built-in Alexa. Much like the Garmin Speak and Muse, it’s another way to add Alexa to your car, but there are a few caveats.
Roav is Anker’s car brand, much like Eufy is their brand for home gadgets. Tha brand has mostly produced car dash cams, but the VIVA is their first really compelling product.
The Roav VIVA plugs into a standard 12 volt socket in your car and provides a pair of USB ports for powering your various mobile devices. Its “PowerIQ” and “VoltageBoost” technology claims to charge devices faster than other car power adapters by detecting the connected device.
But you’re not buying it for the ports. you’re buying it for Alexa. Like all of these in-car Alexa devices, the Roav VIVA connects to your phone via their app and uses your phones data connection to access Alexa. This gives you nearly all of the Alexa capabilities you’re used to at home through an Echo product, but on the road.
The VIVA has a pair of far-field microphones that give it hands-free access to Alexa. Just speak your request and Alexa will respond without needing to touch anything. The top of the device acts as a mute button if you want to mute the microphones and keep them from listening.
The catch with the Roav VIVA is that it only connects to your car stereo over Bluetooth. Other similar devices often give you the option to use a 3.5mm auxiliary jack, but not the VIVA. Additionally, your car’s Bluetooth capabilities are going to need to be fairly modern for the VIVA to work. If your car was built within the 2010s, you’re probably fine, but Roav has a large list of incompatible cars at the bottom of their Amazon product page.