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Amazon's Alexa heading to Australia with Echo smart speakers

Amazon's Alexa heading to Australia with Echo smart speakers

Amazon's Alexa powered range of devices have been incredibly popular in a number of countries like the USA, the United Kingdom and Europe, it will be interesting to see if the devices are also popular in Australia and New Zealand.

REA Group chief inventor Nigel Dalton says Amazon Alexa will give people a fresh way to consume property-related news, giving users access to more than 1200 articles monthly. Listeners will be able to ask the Echo to play music from Amazon Music's most popular and trending artists, with the old, "Alexa, play the "Top Australian Pop" station", or "Alexa, play the "Divas Down Under" playlist" - a selection of notable female artists from Australia and New Zealand (though we truly hate that playlist title).

The local version of Echo will come with a "localised experience" specifically designed for Australian customers.

Locally, Amazon has had to work with Australian developers to make this happen, and with the technology being adapted to support both Australian and New Zealand accents, not to mention local knowledge from both places, is built to work for folks from our side of the world.

The Echo range of smart speakers are now available for pre-order on Amazon Australia with the units going on sale early February.

"It is hard to see otherwise than that Amazon's entry into Australia will be good for consumers, despite it not being good for incumbent retailers", Sims said, addressing the RBB Economics forum in late November.

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From your bank balance to your mobile balance and your smart home devices there's a range of Aussie options to integrate with Amazon's Alexa at launch.

The online employment service said it had launched a trio of skills for Alexa.

The launch of Amazon down under was expected to shake up the retail space in Australia, despite many organisations having years to prepare for such a company to enter the local market.

Tariq Hassanen, Innovation Product Manager at amaysim signalled a move to a whole new way of interacting with business "Conversational interfaces will become ubiquitous in Australian homes within the next 2-3 years". But when linked to other smart gadgets it can be transformed into the central hub of your smart home, allowing you to control nearly anything in your house via voice command.

The new feature allows users to link Alexa to their Dimmi account, enabling voice reservations at more than 4000 restaurants.

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