"Alexa everywhere." That's been one of the top themes of CES 2017, with device makers large and small introducing new skills for Amazon's smash-hit voice-activated assistant. And, with Amazon having made it relatively easy for device-makers to code the virtual helper directly into their products, we're also seeing lots of new gadgets that come with Alexa built right in.
Enter Dok Talk, which makes a wide assortment of multi-device charging stations. Their newest, the Dok Talk CR25, features a little microphone button on top -- give it a tap, and voila, there's Alexa, ready to take your question or command.
The device itself has five USB inputs capable of charging both phones and tablets (complete with protection against over-charging), as well as a Bluetooth speaker in the base and a Qi wireless charging pad that'll let you charge a sixth device. It looks capable enough as a basic bedside charging station (if not a bit generic), but the addition of Alexa makes it into something a lot more compelling, especially given Alexa's ever-growing library of third-party skills.
It's good evidence that Alexa is proving to be a rising tide for in-home tech. Even off-brand, otherwise unremarkable devices like this one can bring in Alexa where it makes sense; in doing so, they get to expand the functionality of what they're selling to a near-exponential degree.
Of course, it also gives companies that make bargain-bin junk an excuse to jack up the price of what they're hocking. I'm not saying that's what Dok Talk's up to here (and I can't speak to the quality of the device until we test one out), but I'll still be curious to see how the CR25's yet-to-be-determined asking price compares to the company's non-Alexa-enabled chargers when it arrives later this year.
For now, Dok Talk says the plan is to sell it for less than the isn't currently available in Australia, but its price converts roughly to AU$245). Hopefully, it's a lot less given that those standard Dok Talk chargers run for about $80 in the US, and unlike the Echo the Dok Talk makes you press a button to wake Alexa up.'s current asking-price of $180 in the US and £149 in the UK (The Echo
The CR25 is heading to market later this year, both on Dok Talk's website and on Amazon. Dok Talk also plans to sell a less expensive version of the charger that keeps Alexa, but ditches the Qi charging pad. Both will ship worldwide.