Anker is unveiling the Roav Bolt, a plug that instantly adds Google Assistant to any car.
It's similar to the accessory maker's Roav Viva, which is powered by Amazon's Alexa, that launched in 2018.
Making Cars Smarter
The Roav Bolt is a small device that plugs into a car's 12-volt lighter socket, meaning it's compatible even with older vehicles. It makes a connection between a phone and the car's audio system via Bluetooth 5.0 or an auxiliary cable.
Once everything is set up, users can now start talking to Google Assistant with the "OK Google" voice command. They can have it play music through Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, iHeart Radio, and Tidal. They can ask it for directions and make hands-free calls and texts. It can also help find a parking spot, give a weather report, and more.
Designed to keep a driver's eyes on the road, Anker equipped it with noise-canceling technology and high-sensitivity MEMS mics so that it can still hear voice commands even when there's loud music playing.
It also sports two ports to charge devices that features the company's PowerIQ Technology, with an output of 24W 5V-2.4A.
There are four RGB LED lights on it, and there's also a physical button to control Google Assistant. For instance, one press will stop the smart assistant or answer or end a call. A long press can call the AI or ignore an incoming call, according to the quick start guide (PDF).
The Perfect Car Ride Companion
Around the time it rolled out, the Roav Viva didn't make much of an impression. Alexa just didn't have enough features to make it worthwhile, and it didn't even have Spotify support.
Now with the Roav Bolt, it's safe to say that the story won't be the same. It's got the right features and enough support for third parties that makes it really handy to have on the road. Not to mention that it's perfect for those who wants to add some smartness to their car without opting for built-in infotainment systems such as Android Auto.
The Roav Bolt will be available sometime in February for $49.99. It's already up for preorder on the Anker website, and the first 200 customers will get a free cable. The first batch of preorders are scheduled to ship out after April.