The company has launched the Echo Plus, Echo, and Echo Dot in India that are retailing at a price of Rs 14,999, Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,999, respectively. The company also announced that Amazon Prime Music will also be coming to India soon.
The Echo devices will start shipping in India starting October 30, 2017.
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The devices are currently only available to customers on an invite-only basis — primarily to candidates who’re interested in making Alexa’s responses better suited for Indian accent.
Those who receive the invite will be eligible for a 30% discount on the purchase of either of the Alexa-powered Echo devices.
Alexa can now be taught a routine for commands and actions in your home. Per se, if you wish to have the light off in your hall at 10 pm every night, you just need to programme Alexa to do that every day or whichever days you want.
The far-field tech used by Amazon Echo and Echo Plus to detect words has been enhanced with better wake word processing, improved beamforming technology, and enhanced noise cancellation, enabling your Echo to detect words from across the room even in a noisy environment.
Alexa in India
In India, Alexa delivers an experience tailor-made for the Indian citizenry, 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, localized skills for Alexa, and over 10,000 skills will be available for customers in India, including integrations from Saavn, Times of India, EspnCricInfo, Ola, Freshmenu, and more.
“Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we’re excited to bring her to India with an all-new experience designed from the ground up for our customers in India,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices, and Services.
“The combination of Alexa and Echo provides customers with hands-free access to music, weather, news, information, and more — just ask.”
What’s New on the Echo and Echo Plus?
The new Echo comes in a smaller, sleeker design, and new colors and finishes (wood, cloth) to choose from at $99.99.
The device also features new speaker architecture, which is equipped with a dedicated tweeter, a 2.5-inch down-firing woofer, and Dolby processing for better audio delivery.
Amazon Echo Plus
The Echo Plus, which supports smart home devices, now sets up sync with compatible devices from ZigBee, Philips Hue, GE, Kwikset, and more, as soon as you say ‘Alexa, discover my devices’.
The Echo Plus also features enhanced 360° audio, with Dolby processing for a more crisp sound.
Inter-connectivity among Echo devices with smart home groups has also been enhanced, helping Alexa pinpoint commands based on the location of the user. Per se, if you’re in the bedroom, you just need to say ‘Alexa, turn on the lights’ instead of ‘Alexa, turn on the bedroom lamp’.
“The all-new Echo and Echo Plus deliver better sound, all new far-field technology, and new features we think customers will love,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa.