Amazon has announced that Alexa, the brain that powers Amazon Echo, is coming to India, along with three Alexa-enabled devices: Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot. Customers who want to help further the development of Alexa and the Echo family of devices may request an invitation to purchase devices at www.amazon.in.
Eligible customers will receive an introductory discount of 30 per cent off the purchase price of Echo devices and one year of Prime membership. Devices will ship beginning the week of October 30th.
Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot are voice-controlled speakers designed entirely around user’s voice. Alexa is the brain behind Echo—since Alexa runs in the cloud. Alexa is capable of answering questions, playing music, read the news, set timers and alarms, check the calendar, provide sports scores, control lights at home, and much more.
With Echo’s far-field voice control, users can do all these tasks from across the room using just their voice. In India, Alexa delivers a customised Indian experience, including an all-new English voice with local pronunciations and intonation; support for music titles, names, and places in additional non-English languages; local knowledge; and local skills from Indian developers.
Third party developers in India are already building new, localised skills for Alexa, and over 10,000 skills will be available for customers in India, including skills from Saavn, Times of India, ESPNcricinfo, Ola, Freshmenu, and more.
Amazon Echo—the Hands-Free, Always On speaker priced at Rs 9,999 allows you to access Alexa from anywhere in the room with far-field voice control. It uses on-device software to detect the wake word, “Alexa.”
The Echo Plus is priced at Rs 14,999, includes all the features of Echo, including room-filling sound powered by Dolby and a far-field microphone array, and adds a built-in smart home hub.
The Echo Dot priced at Rs 4,499 is a hands-free, voice controlled device that is powered by Alexa and uses the same far-field voice recognition as Echo.
Developers can use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build skills. More than 10,000 skills will be available at launch with Alexa in India. These skills add even more capabilities like ordering a favorite takeaway from popular services like Freshmenu or Zomato, requesting a ride from Uber or Ola, preparing dinner with the help of recipes from Tarla Dalal and more.