At CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, Google boasted about new ways to use its digital Google assistant everywhere you go: in the Google Maps app, infotainment systems, and car accessories. Now, it has officially gone on sale and you can pick one up for $50 from Anker’s website.
In cars, Google Assistant provides distraction-free help without having to interact with touchscreens. It’s already accessible through Android Auto and Google Maps on your existing phone but now as Google promised at CES, a new class of Assistant device to improve the experience by adding dedicated mics. Today, the Anker Roav Bolt is launching for Android and in beta on iOS.
“The Roav Bolt is built to work with Android devices and brings the Google Assistant to almost any car. Just say, ‘Hey Google,’ when you’re in the car or tap the button on Roav Bolt to find the nearest coffee shop, play your favorite song or podcast, navigate home, read texts, make calls, set reminders and check your schedule for the day,” says Tomer Amarilio, Product Manager, Google Assistant.
Amarilio further says,“Roav Bolt plugs into your car’s charging socket, connecting to your phone’s Bluetooth and then to your car’s stereo. The far-field built-in mics on the Roav Bolt ensure that your Assistant hears you clearly, whether your phone is locked or stashed away or if you’re blasting music.”
The Anker Roav Bolt brings Google Assistant to any car with Bluetooth or an aux port. By using your phone as a data connection, the Bolt plugs into a 12v cigarette lighter port and provides voice command functionality, delivered by its two far-field microphones designed to hear you over the sound of traffic. The Bolt is made by Anker, and it even comes with two USB charging ports to keep your gadgets topped up on the go.
While Google has been steadily expanding Assistant’s capabilities to speakers and other smart devices, the Roav Bolt represents a new battlefield in its fight against Amazon’s Alexa assistant. Anker already makes a version of its Roav that brings Alexa to the car, and Amazon has an Echo Auto accessory that’s available by invitation only. But perhaps most importantly, the Roav opens up hands-free, in-car Google Assistant access to iPhone users via the Home app.