Amazon’s Alexa has been a sleeper hit. Three million Amazon Echo speakers containing the virtual assistant have sold since it was quietly launched back in 2014. Recently the tech giant has launched the Dot add-on and the portable Tap to make Alexa available on more devices, but for the first Alexa is available on a non-Amazon gadget.
The Triby has four microphones and two front-facing speakers built-in so that Alexa will be able to hear you loud and clear. However, the manufacturers have added a few extra features to distinguish it from Amazon’s virtual-assistant-in-a-can design. This includes physical buttons, which you can program to act as shortcuts for your favourite Spotify playlists or radio stations as well as program your favourite numbers to ring using free VoIP calls.
The Triby also has an e-ink screen that you can use to display messages or even doodles that you’ve drawn in a companion app. The idea is that the Triby should replace your family noticeboard, it even has a magnetic backplate so that you can stick it to your fridge. The Triby speaker retails for £160/$200, slightly more than the Amazon Echo.
However, there is bad news for non-Americans: Even though Triby is created by French firm Invoxia, Europeans will have to continue to look on with envious eyes as the Triby’s Alexa features and services will only work in the US. In other countries, some Alexa services may not work or will have limited functionality.
CORRECTION: This story was amended on 6 May to correct an error that said the Triby’s Alexa features would work outside of the US.