Posted By Diya Selva on 12/28/2017 in Technology

Make Way Peeps, Alexa is Here to Stay!

Make Way Peeps, Alexa is Here to Stay!

Amazon Alexa, the popular smart digital assistant developed by Amazon Inc. is officially in Canada, having been launched alongside the company’s other range of products, the Echo speakers.

Despite having gained massive use in the US since its release years ago, Alexa, as it’s popularly known, has only been launched in three other countries so far, including Germany, Japan and the UK. Canada is the latest country to get a launch, a move that couldn’t come early enough for fans across the country.

Amazon made the announcement in early November and launched pre-orders as early as December 5. Alexa comes fitted within the Amazon Echo range of smart speakers, three of which – the Echo Dot, the Echo, and the Echo Plus - are being launched in Canada. No launch date has been announced yet for the other products in the Echo speaker range, including the Echo Look and the Echo Show. Here below, watch a video of Alexa demonstrated on Echo.

In a bid to draw more customers, the company announced ‘an introductory price’ for each of the speakers, got from slashing up to $20 from each speaker. The Echo Dot goes for $49.99, the Echo goes for $99.99 while the Echo Plus has an asking price of $169.99. The offer is only for a limited time, and they will soon be back at their regular prices - $69.99, $129.99 and $199.99 respectively.

The device is available through Amazon’s retailer website and from retailers including The Source, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Staples. Major Canadian mobile carriers Bell and Telus are also offering the Echo along with their products and services.

Canadians join millions of other customers across the world that are already using the Echo around their homes. The smart speaker, along with the digital assistant Alexa have made their mark in the art of simplifying daily tasks, most notably with shopping and task planning. They also make access to information terribly easy; a simple ‘Hey Alexa, will it rain today?’ or ‘Alexa, what are the day’s headlines?’ can get you the day’s weather and news headlines in under a minute.

Up until now, the major market player in the Canadian smart speaker industry was Google, courtesy of its Google Home speaker, powered by its Google Assistant. Alexa is also a gem when it comes to online shopping on Amazon, allowing users to order products with a simple sentence, and sometimes making shopping recommendations too.

When Vice President of Amazon Alexa, Tom Taylor, stated during the launch last November that Alexa would be fully equipped to give the complete Canadian experience, he left a lot of room for imagination as to how wonderful the smart speaker would be.

As it happens, the assistant is as well-equipped as could be. Along with its database of the world’s most searched-for information, the assistant also speaks with a Canadian accent, already has thousands of skills integrated and knows more about Canada than the average user. One glaring omission is its incapacity to speak French, despite the language being so widely spoken across the country.

As for company integrations, Alexa is already on its way up. The digital assistant has already received skills from companies including Air Canada, Manulife, CBC, Bank of Montreal, and more. This can only mean good tidings for Echo users. Alexa is designed to simplify life further, and its 1000+ skills are what make that possible. Air Canada’s skill, for example, allows clients to request real time travel information or book flights without visiting offices or websites.

How’s that for simplicity?

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