Amazon Prepping Cheaper, Portable Version of ‘Do Everything' Echo Smart Speaker

For some, digital assistants are a part of everyday life. They're all around us. In mobile, they take the form of Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, depending on your platform of choice, and thanks to Amazon, similar functionality can be had at home without a phone through its Echo speaker. It's been a popular seller for Amazon, so it's no surprise that the company is working on a second version.

Supposedly an announcement in imminent in the coming weeks. Early chatter suggests Amazon's second generation Echo speaker, code named Fox, will be smaller and portable. To put it in context, the current generation Echo measures 9.25 inches high and has a diameter of 3.27 inches. It's a slick looking device, albeit one that must be plugged in.

Amazon Echo

It's also said that Fox could be cheaper than Echo, the latter of which debuted at $200 and now sells for $180. Giving Fox a lower cost of entry could help Amazon grow its userbase, which in turn could open up interesting opportunities and partnerships in the future.

You can already use Echo to restock to shop online and restock previously purchased items, and it also works with several smart home products and brands, like WeMo, Philips Hue, and Samsung SmartThings, to name just a few. By getting Fox into more homes, Amazon can entice more partners and developers to jump on board.

That all assumes buyers are willing to compromise. In exchange for a lower price, portability, and battery life, it's said that Fox will only respond to voice commands after pressing a button. Whether or not that proves a deal killer, we'll have to wait and see.

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