The new Roav Viva from Anker will put Amazon’s Alexa in your car for only $49. Announced at CES 2018, this small gadget turns your cigarette lighter and traditional car phone charger into a hands-free Alexa hub. Giving any vehicle some of the smart features from newer cars and trucks.
Basically, you can replace the small car charger you already use with one that has Bluetooth, a dedicated microphone, noise-cancelation, and pairs directly to your phone or car stereo. This turns any car or phone into Alexa, giving you a smart co-pilot at a moments notice.
And while this is a watered down version of Alexa when you compare it to Android Auto or Apple Play capabilities, it’s the affordability and ease-of-use that is appealing. Here’s what you need to know about the Roav Viva, and when you can get one.
The device plugs into a 12-volt cigarette lighter outlet and turns Alexa into a co-pilot. You still have two high-speed USB output ports on the bottom, so you won’t lose your multi-port car charger or fast charging. Instead, you gain some hands-free voice controls that will give your car smart features, without taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel.
Plug the device into your vehicle, then pair it to a smartphone or select Alexa-powered car stereos in the near future. For now, this works in a matter of minutes simply by pairing the charger to your smartphone. Then, the little square car charger becomes a mini Echo Dot.
From here you can use the Roav Viva for all types of things. It’s equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity for music streaming and the full slate of Alexa skills. Additionally, it integrates with Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze for voice navigation. We especially like that you can stream music to your car through the Viva, while streaming something else like directions on your phone.
There is one big potential downside, at least right now, and that’s the lack of support for Spotify. It just doesn’t work.
That said, everything else is a breeze. Set up the little charger, and start asking questions. You can use the Roav Viva and Alexa to turn off the lights at home on your way to work, make sure you closed the garage, or even turn on your lights right before you get home. It’s the full power of Alexa in a small car charger.
Roav added a big microphone on/off mute button to the front, so you can easily disable all voice-recognition at a moment notice if you need to. Perfect for staying safe and keeping attention on the road. The little device has active noise cancellation too, so it won’t have a hard time hearing your Alexa commands with the windows down or over loud road noise.
This neat little gadget is up for pre-order on Amazon for only $49, and ships on February 1st.