Amazon has taken a big step further in its arrival on Aussie shores, announcing the launch date of its highly anticipated voice recognition devices, and three media companies have already taken advantage.
The tech and retail juggernaut will be accepting pre-orders for its Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus smart speakers from Thursday, with the first shipment expected at to arrive at the start of February.
JB Hi-Fi, Telstra, Officeworks and Myer will also be stocking Amazon’s latest gadget.
To coincide with the announcement, SBS has partnered with Amazon to deliver a new flash briefing ‘skill’ for Alexa-enabled devices.
From 1 February, Amazon’s voice service, Alexa, will deliver SBS News audio bulletins to users on request. Users simply select SBS as their default Alexa flash briefing and then ask, “Alexa, what’s the news?” to hear the latest SBS News updates.
Meanwhile, News Corp Australia has announced the launch of a taste.com.au custom recipe skill for the Amazon Alexa service that makes hands-free cooking with voice a reality for Aussies.
After the taste.com.au skill is enabled on an Alexa device, customers can say “Alexa, open Taste” and they will be able to hear the Recipe of the Day or search 50,000 recipes by type, ingredient, theme or event. The results are sorted by top-rated recipes.
Finally Village Cinemas has developed an Alexa skill with local voice experience agency Versa to allow users to ask Amazon’s voice assistant questions, resulting in informative replies via voice with additional supporting communication being sent directly to a user’s smart phone.
The Village Cinemas Alexa skill is capable of providing detailed answers and supporting information to a range of questions as specific as, “Alexa, ask Village Cinemas when is Star Wars on tonight?”; “What kid’s movies are showing at Southland?” and “When is Black Panther coming out?” to further enhance the customer journey at Village Cinemas.
Versa has also developed Alexa skills for Flight Centre And Domino’s Pizza.