Amazon Puts Mouse Ears on Alexa for New Mickey Mouse Edition of Echo Wall Clock
Amazon released the new Disney Mickey Mouse Edition of the Echo Wall Clock this week. Disney’s famous mouse adds a classic clock look to the Alexa voice assistant accessory and another entry in Amazon’s efforts to bring Alexa into more rooms in more homes.
Smart House of Mouse
The custom image of Mickey Mouse art looks much like the familiar analog watches and clocks that use Disney’s mascot with his arms pointing to the time. The old-fashioned image sits on top of a setup largely the same as the previous Echo Wall Clock, however. It acts as an extension for Amazon’s voice assistant, requiring a connection to an Echo smart speaker or smart display. Once it is connected, the LED display on the wall clock will show any timers that are set via Alexa on the connected Echo device, using animations for alarms and other notifications.
Putting Mickey on your wall is a little more expensive than going with a standard clock face, $50 instead of just $30. In most ways, it is identical to the first Echo Wall Clock. It doesn’t have a speaker or microphone, automatically syncs its time to the Echo device to which it is connected, and runs on four AA batteries. Disney’s willingness to attach its most famous creation to the device also serves as confirmation that the connectivity problems that led Amazon to stop shipping it for a few weeks early this year have not returned.
Alexa on the Wall
This isn’t Amazon and Disney’s only collaboration this month. Alexa provided a special behind-the-scenes peek at “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” ahead of the movie’s release last week. Both the Star Wars arrangement and the Mickey Mouse clock are part of Disney’s ongoing experiments with voice technology, including working with Google Assistant to have that voice assistant add sound effects and music as an accompaniment to some Disney children’s books.
For Amazon, putting Mickey Mouse on its smart clock adds yet another item to the list of more than 100,000 smart home products that support Alexa. Amazon’s overall strategy is to get people to try out Alexa in some way and become comfortable with the voice assistant enough that they will turn to Alexa-supported products for other devices they may buy. A Mickey Mouse wall clock in a child’s bedroom means at least one Echo device and a likely higher chance that the next smart speaker or TV the family purchases will have Alexa as a feature as well.