Amazon amplifies its Alexa line of voice-controlled devices

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — is introducing two devices designed to amplify the role its voice-controlled assistant Alexa plays in people’s homes and lives.

The products unveiled Thursday are echoes of Amazon’s Echo, a cylinder-shaped speaker with Internet-connected microphones that became Alexa’s first major showcase when it debuted in 2014.

The devices are the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot. They cost less than the $180 Echo and offer slightly different features in an attempt to plant Amazon’s Internet-connected microphones in more homes and other places.

The Amazon Tap is a smaller, “grab-and-go” version of the Echo that runs on a rechargeable battery. It sells for $130.

The Echo Dot is a device shaped like a hockey puck that sells for $90. Unlike the Echo, the Dot can be plugged into other sound systems.