Garmin Speak Plus mixes Amazon Alexa with a dash cam

Garmin Speak Plus mixes Amazon Alexa with a dash cam

The Speak Plus will look a lot like the original Speak, but a new camera adds a whole new level of functionality and safety.

Garmin's new Speak Plus device - unveiled at CES 2018 - is the next evolution of the Garmin Speak: a dashboard-mounted Alexa device that gives driving directions.

Garmin GPS turn-by-turn navigation is provided through Alexa and the connection to your smartphone through Bluetooth and the Garmin Speak app. Being a dash cam first, the Speak Plus also rocks a camera sensor through which it records incidents, warn you if you're too close to a auto, and even send an alert if you're drifting out of your current lane. An OLED screen provides basic navigation details so you don't miss a turn.

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However, the addition of a camera to the Speak's compact package greatly increases the Speak Plus' utility. Like most dashcams, the Plus records a video loop of the road ahead and automatically saves a clip when an incident is detected.

The Alexa integration is really the standout feature here (even with the addition of the dash cam), though past year The Verge's Dan Seifert found this didn't always work perfectly with the original Garmin Speak, as promising as it sounded.

The forward collision warning detects cars ahead and notifies the driver when following too closely or closing in too quickly, which may cause an accident. The camera in the vehicle sends lane departure warnings when it notices cars drifting out of their lanes or off the road. In addition to that, it can let you know when the gridlocked traffic has begun to move. Early buyers (people who order between now and February 10) will get a deal on the Speak Plus, though, at a price of $200.

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