Amazon India introducing Alexa and Echo
Amazon India says its Alexa voice service and Echo wireless speakers are now available in India, and will be heading to Japan before year’s end.
Amazon Alexa senior VP Tom Taylor says the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service have been expanded so developers and hardware makers can create localised Alexa experiences for India and Japan.
Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus are voice-controlled speakers, with Alexa available with such services as answering questions, playing music, reading the news, setting timers and alarms, reciting calendars, checking sports scores and controlling lights around the home.
Amazon is hoping that having Indian customers buy Echo devices, which connect to Amazon’s online store and other services, could help the company convert more of them to Prime membership, launched in India last year, reports CNet. Prime launched in Japan 10 years ago.
Alexa now has an Indian accent to add to its repertoire of American English and British English. Amazon has not specified which language Alexa will speak in Japan.
In India, where the service can be bought by invitation only, the voice assistant will be able to understand sentences that include proper nouns in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam or Punjabi, such as names of places, songs and movie titles, says an Amazon spokeswoman.