Amazon Alexa, Echo, and the All-New Echo Dot Coming to the UK
Alexa is a cloud-based voice service that is always getting smarter—she answers questions, plays music, reads audiobooks, turns on and off the lights, gives you sports scores, checks the traffic, and more
Amazon Echo is a revolutionary new device designed around your voice—it’s always ready, hands-free, and fast—just ask Alexa and get answers instantly—just £149.99
Connect Amazon Echo Dot to an external speaker and voice-control your home stereo system, or use it as a standalone device to access all the capabilities of Alexa—all for less than £50; you can also buy Echo Dot in a multi-pack: buy 5 and get 1 free, or buy 10 and get 2 free
For two days only: as a thank you to new and existing Prime members, Echo is available to them for £50 off on Amazon.co.uk
LUXEMBOURG—14th September, 2016—Amazon today announced that Alexa, the brain that powers Amazon Echo, is coming to the UK, along with two Alexa-enabled devices: Echo and the all-new Echo Dot. Echo is available for pre-order for £149.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/echo and will start shipping in the coming weeks. Echo Dot is available for pre-order as a single device for £49.99, in a 6-pack, and in a 12-pack at www.amazon.co.uk/echodot and will start shipping next month.
Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are voice-controlled speakers designed entirely around your voice—they’re always ready, hands-free, and fast. Alexa is the brain behind Echo and Echo Dot—just ask and she’ll answer questions, play music, read the news, set timers and alarms, recite your calendar, check sports scores, control lights around your home, and much more. With Echo and Echo Dot’s far-field voice control, you can do all this from across the room just by asking. Since Alexa runs in the cloud, she is always getting smarter—plus, third party developers are building new skills for Alexa every day. There will be thousands of Alexa skills available for UK customers at launch including skills from Spotify, Uber, Philips Hue, Hive, Just Eat, National Rail Enquiries, and more.
“Millions across the US have already fallen in love with Alexa. And, predictably, she’s even more likeable with a British accent,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO. “We’re delighted to be bringing Echo and Alexa to the UK.”
Customers in the US love Alexa and Echo—on Amazon.com, customers have left over 28,000 5-star reviews—here’s what they’re saying:
- “The power of this device right now is amazing. Each week it appears more features—simple to use and configure—are added. Truly the future today.”
- “Overall this is a fantastic, game-changing device.”
- “Echo is in the house and part of the family. We use it and enjoy it all the time. It’s like a peek at the future...you know the one...with flying cars. Plays music...reads books...tells jokes...keeps track of my calendar...keeps me updated with news , weather and traffic. A device with personality....an entertaining friend. It’s more magic than machine!”
- “And that’s the point of something truly magical. It just fades away into the background and becomes part of your life. Alexa is just that.”
Here’s what reviewers in the US are saying about Echo and Alexa:
- “A Perfect 10” – ZDNet
- “The Echo is one of the most compelling cases I’ve ever seen for the power of voice control, of talking to our gadgets the way we talk to each other.” – The Verge
- “I’m convinced that Echo is just a taste of ~the future~ that science fiction promised us...THIS IS THE DAMN FUTURE, PEOPLE.” – BuzzFeed
- “The Echo is Amazon's latest futuristic gadget experiment. It's one part Bluetooth speaker and one part personal voice assistant. And it blew my mind.” – Mashable
- “The Echo may be the closest thing we'll have to a Star Trek computer at home.” – CNET
Amazon Echo—Always Ready, Connected, and Fast—Just £149.99
Echo is a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker that allows you to access Alexa from anywhere in the room with far-field voice control.
Far-Field Voice Recognition with Beam Forming Technology
Amazon Echo has an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation so it can clearly hear you from across the room. This advanced beam-forming technology combines the signals from the individual microphones to suppress noise, reverberation, the music currently playing, and even competing speech to make sure Echo and Alexa hear you clearly, even when in a noisy room.
Echo uses on-device software to detect the wake word, “Alexa.” When it detects the wake word, Echo’s light ring turns blue and begins streaming the request to the cloud. Once there, Alexa uses the power of Amazon Web Services to quickly process the request. The cloud uses a sophisticated neural network-based speech recognition system to recognise and respond to you from a distance.
Omnidirectional, Room-Filling Sound
Amazon Echo has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360° omni-directional sound to fill the room with immersive music. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like iTunes from your phone or tablet.
Designed to Disappear
Amazon Echo is available in either black or white, and is designed to disappear into your home. The cylindrical design allows for the circular microphone array on top of the device so it can hear you from across the room, and ports the sound through precisely machined holes around the base. The light ring around the top of Echo provides visual feedback—when you’re talking to Echo, the beam of light points in your direction to acknowledge that it hears you and is processing your request.
All-New Amazon Echo Dot
Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice controlled device that is powered by Alexa and uses the same far-field voice recognition as Echo. Directly connect Echo Dot to speakers with an audio cable or via Bluetooth, and add voice-control to your home stereo system. Plus, with its small built-in speaker, you can place Echo Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock, or in any room as a voice assistant to control smart home devices, and more.
Made for Any Room—All-New Hardware Design
Amazon Echo Dot has a new sleek and compact design, comes in either black or white, and is designed to disappear into any room in a house. With its built-in speaker, you can place Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock that can also turn off your lights. Or use Dot in the kitchen to easily set timers, ask for measurement conversions, and more.
With the same array of seven microphones found in Amazon Echo, Dot uses beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation to detect the wake word, Alexa, from across the room. The new Echo Dot features a more powerful speech processor than the previous generation, which delivers improved far-field speech recognition accuracy.
Connect to Any Speaker to Voice Control your Music
Amazon Echo Dot can directly connect to speakers through Bluetooth or using a 3.5mm stereo cable, enabling you to add Alexa to your home entertainment system. Then, use just your voice to control Amazon Music, Prime Music, Spotify, TuneIn, and more.
Turn on the Lights and Change the Temperature with Just Your Voice
Use Amazon Echo Dot to turn on the lamp before getting out of bed, change the temperature without leaving your chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all with just your voice. Echo Dot works with smart home devices such as lights, switches, fans, thermostats, and more.
ESP (Echo Spatial Perception)—Put an Echo or Echo Dot in Every Room
For customers who have multiple Echo devices within hearing distance, Amazon’s new ESP technology intelligently calculates the clarity of the customer’s voice and determines which Echo is closest and should respond to the request—instantly. This feature is smart—performance gets better over time, so ESP will continuously improve as you use Echo. In multi-Echo households, ESP resolves the problem of two Echo devices answering you at the same time. This new feature will be available as a free update for all Echo devices—including Amazon Echo and the first generation Echo Dot—in the coming weeks.
Alexa—The Brain Behind Amazon Echo
Echo and Echo Dot are powered by Alexa. Built in the cloud, and with tens of thousands of third party developers around the world creating skills, Alexa is always getting smarter. With Alexa, you can use just your voice to:
Hear the News
Alexa can read you the news and give customised updates based on your preferences. Choose your favourite outlets to provide the news, including the BBC, the Guardian, and the Telegraph. Just say “Alexa, read me my flash briefing” or “Alexa, what’s the news?”
Get the Weather
Ask Alexa about local, national, and international weather forecasts. For example: “Alexa, will it rain tomorrow?”, “Alexa, what’s the weather in Edinburgh?”, or “Alexa, what’s the weather in Brighton this weekend?”
Alexa offers a seamless, hands-free music experience with premier music services including Amazon Music, Prime Music, Spotify and TuneIn. Just say “Alexa, shuffle my Favourites playlist” or “Alexa, play Afternoon Acoustic from Spotify.” Control volume and playback by saying “Alexa, turn it up” or “Alexa, skip this song.” If you aren’t sure who an artist is, just say “Alexa, who is this?”
Control your Smart Home
Use Amazon Echo or Echo Dot to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, adjust the temperature while reading in your favourite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger. Alexa works with devices such as lights, smart switches, thermostats, and more from Philips Hue, WeMo, Netatmo, and Hive.
You can ask Alexa all kinds of questions, including questions about famous people, dates, places, calculations, conversions, spelling, and much more. For example, “Alexa, what time is sunrise in Manchester?”, “Alexa, how many days until Christmas?”, “Alexa, what's the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom?”
Check the Traffic and Trains
Alexa can tell you the estimated duration and quickest route to take for your commute. Just ask “Alexa, how is traffic?” or “Alexa, what’s my commute?” Or, use third party skills like National Rail Enquiries to find the next train.
Follow your Favourite Sports Teams
Ask Alexa for live scores or scores for completed games, or find out when your favourite team plays their next game. Just ask “Alexa, what is the score of the Leicester game?”, “Alexa, did Chelsea win?”, or “Alexa, when will Swansea play next?”
Set Timers and Alarms
You can set up multiple alarms and timers with your voice, including setting repeating alarms. Just say “Alexa, wake me up at 6 tomorrow morning,” “Alexa, how much time is left on my timer?”, or “Alexa, set a repeating alarm for Tuesday at 9:00 am.”
Create Shopping and To-Do Lists
Alexa can help you stay organised by helping you to create and manage your To-Do and Shopping lists. Just say “Alexa, add ‘bread’ to my Shopping list,” “Alexa, put ‘change oil’ on my To-Do list,” or “Alexa, what’s on my Shopping list?”
Check your Calendar
You can ask Alexa to add or read events on your Google Calendar, and read events from calendars shared with you. Just say “Alexa, what’s on my calendar tomorrow at 9:00?,” “Alexa, add an event to my calendar,” or “Alexa, add ‘shopping’ to my calendar for Saturday at 10:00.”
Listen to Audiobooks from Audible.co.uk
You can listen to audiobooks from Audible via Alexa. Just say “Alexa, read my book” and then control playback by saying “Alexa, next chapter” or “Alexa, go back.”
Third Party Skills
Alexa is also a free cloud service for developers, who can use the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build skills for Alexa. These skills add even more capabilities like ordering your favourite takeaway from Just Eat, requesting a ride from Uber, checking live train times through National Rail Enquiries, and more. Thousands of skills will launch with Alexa for customers in the UK. Read more about developers building skills for Alexa here: www.amazon.co.uk/alexadevpr.
Pricing and Availability
Amazon Echo is available for pre-order starting today for £149.99 at www.amazon.co.uk/echo. It will start shipping in the coming weeks. For two days only, as a thank you to new and existing Prime members in the UK, Echo is available for £50 off on Amazon.co.uk.
The all-new Amazon Echo Dot is available starting next month. You can pre-order starting today at www.amazon.co.uk/echodot.
A single Echo Dot is available for £49.99. Otherwise, you can choose a 6-pack—buy 5, get one free—or a 12-pack for buy 10, get 2 free and Alexa-enable every room of your house.
Echo and Echo Dot will also be available at Argos, Currys, John Lewis, PC World, and Tesco.
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