Amazon's Alexa heading to Australia with Echo smart speakers

Amazon Echo Spot Could Be An Alarm Clock For The 21st Century

Telstra have announced their Smart Home devices such as motion sensors, cameras and lightbulbs can be controlled through an Echo devices.

Amazon's smart speaker The Echo will be on sale in New Zealand early this year, according to Amazon.

Amazon Music Unlimited will be available through three monthly plan options; the Echo Plan, offering full access to Amazon Music Unlimited at $4.99/month on a single Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Plus; the Individual Plan at $11.99/month; or the Family Plan, coming soon, which will allow up to six members of a household to share a subscription for just $17.99/month.

Voice search and control using devices like Amazon Echo or Google Assistant-enabled devices such as Google Home, continue to grow in popularity.

The Echo has been available in the USA for years - well before Google entered the market - but this is the first time the gadget has been officially sold in Australia via Amazon's freshly-launched Aussie website. The key phrase is then "Alexa, ask Airtasker to find me a cleaner". This is expected to work just like Spotify or Apple Music (in that it's unlimited, ad-free music on demand) but you can only listen to it on Amazon's Echo player.

Amazon Echo Spot Could Be An Alarm Clock For The 21st Century
Amazon's Echo, Alexa and Music Unlimited are hitting Australia and New Zealand next month

Users of the Echo devices will also have access to over 10,000 third-party "skills" in Australia, which are similar to what apps are to your phone, which includes those developed by local brands from booking an Uber, to preparing dinner with the help of recipes from, checking travel details and getting loyalty program updates from Qantas, or checking your account balance with Westpac or NAB.

"We know our customers want a seamless banking experience that fits with their needs and complements their lifestyles", said Westpac chief executive, consumer bank, George Frazis. This will provide them with access to over 110,000 registered tradespeople across all trade categories such as plumbing, building, painting, tiling, electrical work, handyman work, garden maintenance, air conditioning, concreting and other home fix jobs.

Amazon states that Alexa will deliver an "all-new experience" Australian consumers, alongside a new "Alexa Australia and New Zealand edition", with local knowledge, and skills built by Australian developers.

"It's still early days for having conversations with your technology, but we're continuing to discover new ways to adapt and integrate that into our daily lives", he said. Alexa allows amaysim to engage with our customers in a more natural way when it comes to account information and other useful services.

These are just some examples of Alexa integration, there are literally hundreds more - while Google Home got the jump on this space a year ago in Australia it's very clear Amazon is coming in at full speed.

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