Ultimate Ears has added the ability to channel Siri and Google Now through its popular Bluetooth speakers. Who needs the Amazon Echo?
The UE Boom 2 is one of our favourite portable speakers thanks to its rugged design, lengthy battery life, and strong 360-degree sound. Now it, together with the UE Megaboom, has gained another killer feature.
UE has announced a Voice Integration update that ties in with either Siri or Google Now on your iPhone or Android phone respectively. It relays your vocal enquiries and commands to your phone, as well as the appropriate vocal responses.
Essentially, then, your formerly dumb Bluetooth speaker has been transformed into an Amazon Echo-like smart speaker - albeit indirectly.
Following the software update, all you need to do is hold down the Bluetooth button on the UE speakers, and you'll have an open line to each platform's personal assistant software.
The main way in which this will be useful, of course, is in starting some music playing without having to fiddle with your phone. Apple Music works in this way with Siri, while Spotify and Google Play Music will work with Google Now.
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However, you'll also be able to put the new feature to good use in sending hands-free texts, enquiring about the weather, and anything else you'd use your phone's personal assistant for that doesn't require a screen.
The new UE Voice Integration feature is available now by updating the UE Boom and UE Megaboom apps.
UK readers, would this be enough to sate you until the Amazon Echo arrives on these shores? Let us know in the comments.