Amazon may be releasing a mini-sized version of its voice-activated personal assistant speaker Echo.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the online retailer has plans to release a portable Echo device, and will do so in the coming weeks.
Amazon has yet to confirm the rumor, but the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is working with Flextronics International Ltd. to make the device that has been dubbed "Fox." Fox is rumored to fit in the palm of the user's hand and will be similar to Apple's Beat pill, but will instead stand vertically on a tabletop.
The new and smaller voice-controlled device and Bluetooth speaker won't need to be plugged in in order to list to commands like its predecessor, and instead will only listen when the user pushes a button. This will help keep a longer battery life, since Echo's capability of always being able to listen drains its battery. Fox will be charged by using a dock.
Amazon first released Echo, which uses Alexa software to listen and acts like a personal assistant to provide users with a faster and easier way to search the Internet, back in November 2014. Included Internet searches are weather and traffic updates, news or recipes a user might be seeking while cooking in the kitchen.
Ford announced a partnership with Amazon that will allow owners to control their car features from their home using Echo at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.
Amazon has also released new updates for Echo, which include support for apps like Yelp, and workout activities.
Amazon does not release sale figures, so it's hard to tell if there is a demand for a more portable version of the device. However, the online retailer released Echo in retails stores like Home Depot, Staples and Radio Shack across the U.S. in time for the 2015 holiday season.
Amazon's Echo retails for $179.99, but the portable, smaller version is expected to be sold at a cheaper price.
Source: The Wall Street Journal