Now you can use Alexa to lock your house's doors, turn on the lights, and change the thermostat — among other things — right from the driver's seat.
Unless you own a high-tech car made in the last several years, chances are you’re missing out on the connected driving experience. Although Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto have tried to bring smart voice control to more cars, those systems are limited to certain makes and models of new cars, and come at a premium in aftermarket audio systems. Luckily, Logitech offers a smart, Bluetooth-enabled mount called the ZeroTouch that promises hands-free, eyes-free voice control for sending texts, navigation, and music playback through Spotify. Now, the ZeroTouch is becoming even smarter with the addition of Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant.
The same commands and requests many drivers might already use at home with their Echo devices are available in the car. Alexa is available to all users through an update to the ZeroTouch app.
Logitech says anything Alexa can do elsewhere, it can do through ZeroTouch — and that includes controlling smart home devices. The only difference in functionality is the way Alexa is invoked. Rather than with a wake word, drivers wave a hand in front of their device to call upon the personal assistant — the same way ZeroTouch operated before the update.
It’s important to note that ZeroTouch is only compatible with Android devices, and that Alexa won’t be able to control the vehicle the same way it can when integrated directly with a car’s infotainment system. Ford, Volkswagen, and Hyundai have all confirmed upcoming vehicles will feature Amazon’s technology, and in those instances, Alexa will be able to do much more, like lock and unlock car doors, start and stop the engine, and order supplies for your vehicle.
As for the mount itself, it comes in two flavors — a vent clip, which retails for $60, and another featuring a suction cup, which can be fitted to the windshield or dashboard, and retails for $80. Both use magnets to attach themselves to smartphones, and have internal batteries designed to last for two years.