Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant software lets you speak commands and questions to Amazon hardware including the Echo, Tap, and Echo Dot devices as well as Amazon Fire TV products. But Amazon offers tools that let third-party developers tap into is Alexa Voice service platform, and last year a company called Invoxia introduced the first device to do just that.
Now it’s available for purchase. You can order the Triby connected speaker from the Invoxia website for $199 or save $30 and place an order at Amazon.com during a launch sale.
Triby is basically a portable speaker that can do many of the same thing as an Amazon Echo. But it has magnets that let you slap it on the refrigerator, buttons for shortcuts, and a small display on the front. You can pair Triby with your phone to function as a Bluetooth speaker/mic, or use it to make VoIP calls over WiFi.
It can also let members of your household share messages with one another — you can use a mobile app to draw a picture and send it to the Triby’s display, for example. There’s a little yellow flag that pops out from the side of the device when a new message comes in.
Unlike the original Echo, Triby has a battery that lets it work while unplugged for up to 2 weeks (in standby) or up to 10 hours (when listening to music)… if you disable Alexa’s always listening mode.
The Verge notes that standby time drops to just 2 hours if you let Alexa listen constantly for your voice commands.
If Amazon has its way, Triby will just be the first of many third-party products to tap into Alexa. Another company is already running a crowdfunding campaign for an Alexa-connected smartwatch.