Amazon has launched many Echo speakers to date with one common feature – all of them needed to be plugged into an electrical socket. The company has launched a new Echo speaker, which has a defining feature – it is battery operated and portable.

Portability has been time and again demanded from smart speakers, but companies such as Amazon have repeatedly launched plugged in devices, rather than battery-operated ones because smart speakers need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network to function.

Amazon has finally launched the Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition, which is battery operated – it functions using a 4,800 mAh battery and will offer 10 hours of music playback on the go and 11 hours of standby time.

Until now, if one needed portability even inside a home, they would have to connect a plugged-in smart speaker to regular Bluetooth speakers with built-in mics. A portable smart speaker will just need to be tuned to a Wi-Fi network, which means that if you connect it to a phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot and use the Alexa app on another phone, you can basically take this set-up anywhere you want.

More importantly, you won’t need to keep plugging the smart speaker in and out, when you move from room to room.

Amazon had tried its hand at a similar set-up in the past, including the Amazon Echo Tap, which one needed to press to activate the voice assistant and the Echo Input Dongle, which could be plugged into a regular Bluetooth speaker to transform it into a smart speaker.

The portable device has been launched only in India currently. Miriam Daniel, VP of Alexa devices, told TechCrunch that portability has been one of the most requested features in the country.

The battery-powered Echo Input Portable Smart Speaker Edition retails at Rs. 5,999 ($84) in India and will be available starting Dec. 18 at an introductory price of Rs. 4,999 ($70). Apart from being battery-based, the Echo Input functions similarly to other Echo devices. It has 30,000 Alexa skills, compatibility with smart home IoT devices.

The e-commerce giant has the largest share in the Indian smart speaker market– 59 percent and has sold around 444,270 smart speakers in the country in 2018.

Amazon has invested more than $5 billion in India and holds around 30 percent of the e-commerce market share in the market of 1.3 billion people. The company’s India division is currently worth $16 billion. By 2027, the company is expected to reach $70 billion in revenue in the country – a sizeable part of India e-commerce sector, which is set to grow to $202 billion in a few years, according to Forbes. Amazon Echo Input Amazon has launched a battery-powered, portable smart speaker. Dec. 4, 2019. Photo: Amazon/Official