Owners of the 2017 Ford Fusion Energi have Alexa built into their cars, as will owners of some future BMW, Mini, and Nissan models, but for everyone else interested in having access to Alexa while driving, you’ll need to add the voice assistant through an aftermarket accessory. A new product from San Jose-based startup Speak Music called Muse promise to do just that at the relatively affordable price of $49.99. The small disc-shaped device uses your phone’s data connection to bring hands-free access to Alexa to any car.
Muse attaches magnetically to a small round disc that you stick somewhere on your car’s dash. It’s powered by a 6.5 foot USB cable that you plug into an included dual USB car charger. The device connects wirelessly to your mobile phone via an app and uses your phones data connection to communicate with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
It does not have a built-in speaker and instead relies on your car stereo for audio output, which it connects to via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm auxiliary port. It has a microphone that listens for the Alexa wake word and responds to the usual assortment of Alexa requests. The hardware also has left and right arrow buttons that can be used for track skipping, and a microphone button which I believe mutes the device when held and activates Alexa when tapped.
At an expected retail price of $49.99 when it’s released in December, Muse is much more affordable than the $149.99 Garmin Speak released last month. While both devices offer Alexa in the car, the Garmin Speak provides navigation capabilities, as well as a display and speaker, which are things not available on the Muse.
If all you want is basic hands-free access to Alexa and all of its standard capabilities while on the road, the Muse seems like a very compelling product, assuming it works as described. You can pre-order the Muse for a slight discount now on Indiegogo.