Amazon is expanding its Alexa digital voice assistant to a broader range of devices today. Currently, Alexa only resides with Amazon Echo, Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick.
The first of the two products is Echo Dot. This new device features the far-field voice technology that is already in Echo. This means that you don't have to hold a button and be within a few feet of the device when you're speaking to it.
Unlike Echo, Echo Dot doesn't double as a speaker. Paired with a speaker through Bluetooth or a wired connection, Echo Dot turns your speaker into an Amazon Echo.
Echo Dot costs $89.99, but at the current time, it's exclusively available from Alexa. That's right - to order your new Echo Dot, you must order it from an Echo or Fire TV that you already own. It's worth noting that at the current time, it's exclusively available to Prime members.
The second device that was announced is Amazon Tap. This device does not contain the far-field voice technology seen in Echo or Echo Dot. It does, however, have Bluetooth speaker capabilities.
Despite not having far-field voice technology, the portable speaker does have push-to-talk Alexa functionality, similar to the way a user would press the microphone button on an Amazon Fire TV Voice Remote.
Amazon Tap is going to cost $129.99, but it's not coming out until March 31, although you can preorder it right now. Luckily, you don't need to be a Prime member or order it from an already existing Alexa device. You can, however, use your Amazon Tap to order your Echo Dot.