Amazon’s Echo Flex plug-in smart speaker should now be much more useful in the kitchen. The Verge reports that Amazon has unveiled an official, Third Reality-made Smart Clock add-on for the Flex that brings connected timekeeping to the Alexa device. The USB accessory will show the current time, of course, but it’s most helpful for timers. Ask Alexa to set a timer and you’ll see it count down, so you won’t have to ask for an update (or use an Echo with a built-in display) just to see how soon your cooking will be ready.
You can also use Alexa to switch between 12- and 24-hour formats, or manually adjust the brightness when the automatic settings aren’t enough. It doesn’t need any additional power, although the Flex’s limitation to one add-on at a time will force you to choose this over another device like a motion sensor.
The Smart Clock ships on August 11 for $15. While that ultimately leaves you spending $40 for the complete solution, it’s still less expensive than the $60 standard price for an Echo Dot with a clock. If you don’t need higher-quality audio and aren’t willing to wait for a sale, the Flex combo may make more sense.