Amazon Echo, Alexa coming to Australia

In early 2018.

Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo are coming to Australia and New Zealand early next year. Amazon will also be expanding the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to enable developers around the world to build voice experiences for Alexa customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Amazon Alexa vice president, Toni Reid said, “The customer response to Alexa and Echo has been incredibly positive, and we’re excited to make them available for our Australian and New Zealand customers early next year. We also look forward to helping new and existing developers create innovative Alexa experiences for customers by expanding the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service to Australia and New Zealand.”

Amazon Echo

Echo is designed around the user’s voice, is hands-free and always ready to be asked information, music, news, weather, and more. Echo connects to a Wi-Fi network and uses far-field voice recognition with an array of seven microphones. The advanced audio design of Echo includes a dedicated tweeter, a 6.35cm down-firing woofer, and Dolby processing to deliver crisp vocals and dynamic bass.

Alexa

Alexa is built in the cloud. Just ask and she answers questions, plays music, reads the news, sets timers and alarms, checks calendars, gets sports scores, and much more. With the expansion to Australia and New Zealand, Alexa will bring an all-new voice designed for customers in Australia and New Zealand, with local knowledge and skills.

Amazon’s full catalogue on-demand music streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited, will also launch in early 2018. When paired with Alexa, customers can ask for music by artist, song title, curated playlists and more.

Alexa Skills Kit

Amazon will also make the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) available to developers interested in building skills for customers in Australia and New Zealand. ASK is a collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create new voice-driven capabilities for Alexa. No experience with speech recognition or natural language understanding is required—Amazon does all the work to hear, understand and process the customer’s spoken request.

Alexa Voice Service

The Alexa Voice Service (AVS) enables developers to integrate Alexa directly into their products, bringing the convenience of voice control to any connected device. Through AVS, hardware manufacturers will be able to build Alexa-enabled products and offer customers in Australia and New Zealand access to a growing number of Alexa features, smart home integrations and skills. AVS provides developers with access to a suite of resources to quickly and easily build Alexa-enabled products, including APIs, hardware development kits, software development kits and documentation. Brands including Harman Kardon and Sonos plan to release AVS products.

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