Amazon finally brings Alexa to Aussie shores


"We've seen phenomenal feedback from customers who use Amazon Music Unlimited, and we're thrilled to bring an entirely new world of music streaming possibilities to listeners in Australia and New Zealand", Sean McMullan, Head of International Expansion for Amazon Music says of the launch.

Aussies can ask Alexa to check the weather, the traffic and sports scores, as well as to play music, or set music alarms and timers.

Accenture predicts that ownership of smart speakers in Australia will increase more than five times this year, reaching 23 per cent by the end of 2018, up from 4 per cent in 2017.

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.

Through the Alexa App you can create groups with two or more Echo devices by naming the group - something like "downstairs" or "next door" (nah just kidding about that one don't worry).

"Our skill for Amazon Alexa devices provides a secure connection between the device and a customer's internet banking account, allowing them the convenience to manage their money", said NAB executive general manager, digital and innovation, Jonathan Davey.

Echo (AU$149): The Echo is the original model.

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

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

The Echo Plus ($269) is taller, has a better speaker and includes tech that makes it easy to set up a smart home. They are a great way to convey complex information to your customers in a free-flowing, conversational way.

George Frazis, Chief Executive, Consumer Bank says customers want a seamless banking experience that fits with their needs and complements their lifestyles.

Amazon launched in Australia last month after much anticipation.

Voice services, like Amazon's Alexa, let you do many things - from asking questions, checking your calendar, playing music and controlling your compatible smart home devices using your voice.

"This is a continuation of the commitment we have to invest in technology solutions that will connect Australians to the most up to date employment market and job information, to enable them to make informed career decisions".