AtlantaPitch PracticeStartupsTechnology

How do you make the Amazon Echo Dot into a decent speaker?

SmartMate makes Amazon's Echo sound good

You gotta dot? An Amazon Echo Dot? Do you have one? I don’t use mine to control stuff or get answers. I use it – or wanted to use it, anyway – as a simple speaker. “Echo, play some upbeat rock ‘n’ roll,” I’d say. Echo (we changed her name from Alexa) would quickly comply. No problems there. But I could get nearly equal quality sound from my iPhone, and my iPhone doesn’t have to be plugged in. My iPhone also isn’t a hockey puck. Let’s face it, the Echo Dot is a cool device for voice controlling stuff, but it’s not a good speaker like it’s larger cousin, the Echo or Echo Plus.

Don’t like something? Fix it.

That’s what this enterprising young entrepreneur is doing. He didn’t like how ugly the Echo Dot is and the fact that it’s sound quality is sub par, so he fixed it. Or, let’s say he’s in the process of fixing it. He got the idea from the simple trend of putting your iPhone in a bowl to amplify the sound. Now, that doesn’t improve the sound. It just makes it louder.

Engineering Required

To have more than a bowl, which anyone who has an Echo Dot already has, Whit needed to actually improve the sound of the Dot. Since he’s not an engineer, he needs an acoustical engineer to help him create a simple sound chamber that will capture the sound from the bottom of the Dot, and push it through the right system of sound chambers to enhance the sound, not just make it louder.

MVP first, then the real product

Should he go straight to market with R2D2’s head as the device? Probably not, since the folks who own Star Wars tend to be pretty stingy with the use of their brand. Rightfully so. No, how about just making a simply beautiful piece of engineered plastic that works first, then modify how the device works? That’s part of the advice that the crowd at Pitch Practice gave Whit, as well as to visit both ATDC and Switchyards.

Want to see more? Subscribe to the Pitch Practice Youtube Channel or the Pitch Practice Podcast on iTunes.

What do you think about that?