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Amazon Bringing Echo and Alexa To 80 Additional Countries in Major Global Expansion (geekwire.com) 38

Amazon is launching three of its Echo devices with Alexa in 80 additional countries starting today -- a major international expansion for the company's smart speakers and voice-based assistant. From a report: New markets for the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus include Mexico, China, Russia and other countries in regions and continents including Europe, Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia. Other Echo devices, such as the touch-screen Echo Show, are not included as part of the international expansion. Echo devices were previously only available in the US, UK, Germany, India, Japan, and Canada. Amazon earlier announced plans to bring Echo and Alexa to Australia and New Zealand next year. In addition, Amazon says its Music Unlimited subscription streaming service is available in 28 additional countries, including many of those where the Echo is now expanding, as well. Recommended reading: Don't buy anyone an Amazon Echo speaker.
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Amazon Bringing Echo and Alexa To 80 Additional Countries in Major Global Expansion

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  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:46AM (#55702119)
    I hate when mommy and daddy global monopoly fight...
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday December 08, 2017 @11:51AM (#55702163) Journal

    Amazon Alexa supports Black Lives Matter.

    https://www.vibe.com/2017/12/a... [vibe.com]

    Waiting for the alt-white boycott.

    • If they boycott every company that doesn't cater to their ideals. Perhaps they can starve themselves into a solution.

    • Amazon Alexa supports Black Lives Matter.

      Believing that black lives matter is not the same thing as supporting Black Lives Matter.

      • Believing that black lives matter is not the same thing as supporting Black Lives Matter.

        Yeah, it is.

  • All this means is you can order the English-speaking Alexa in those countries. (Or Japanese or German). So if you speak Chinese you'll have to look at the various Chinese-speaking devices available.
  • I give these gizmos a 50/50 on being a fad. On one hand those who purchased them overall give a roughly "C-" grade in practicality, and the potential for headline-making hacks is high.

    But, they will get gradually better over time and maybe hit a threshold utility quality level to stay. Based on past patterns of new gizmo categories, I expect there will be a crash in their use, but they'll then come back in roughly 5 years with improved technology and with some hard lessons applied from the first round.

    • but why the need? We already have devices in our pockets that can speak and be spoken to, with graphics and touch interface also, hooked to a planet-spanning internet. I hear these devices even have task specific "apps" to do the things that echo does badly.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        We already have devices in our pockets that can speak and be spoken to

        Because smart-phones are controlled by a limited set of companies, perhaps they figure they can make the voice-oriented gizmos more powerful than phone assistants so that you are compelled to buy two devices instead of one, increasing their revenues. Oligopolies, enjoy!

      • At best I stepping stone technology. Where people get these cheap smart speakers, then load their homes up with expensive smart-automation tools for these things to actually be useful. Once these tools are in place, we find that it is easier to use our expensive smart phones which we already have to do the same thing. But these Speakers would be the first step.

        Kinda like the iPod and MP3 Players. Where they were popular for under a decade, and for the most part now had been replace with a smart phone.
        But

      • We already have devices in our pockets that can speak and be spoken to

        My Echo is in the kitchen. I can ask it to do things when my hands are busy or dirty, or when I am across the room. The speaker is loud enough to hear over the blender or vent fan. Alexa can control the lights, warn me about motion on the porch, etc.

        A cell phone is not a substitute. When I am at home, my phone is on the charger in my office, not where I am, and it requires far more physical interaction. Why would I wash and dry my hands and then walk to my office and get my cell phone to turn off a lig

        • I'm not going to stick an always-on mic in my home just to save 30 seconds in the kitchen.
          • I'm not going to stick an always-on mic in my home just to save 30 seconds in the kitchen.

            Do you own a cell phone? It is a far bigger threat to your privacy.

        • ya know, you can set your phone up to be handsfree to respond to queries?

          the echo has no special "security model", hacks have been demonstrated just like most any other internet attached appliance running an OS.

  • It's nice that they've gotten the language support to roll out in additional countries, but I wish they would put a bit more work into improving the device.

    The use of skills is very clunky. It feels like I'm coding when I'm talking to it. Skills should be able to register questions that they can answer, so if Alexa gets a question she doesn't handle natively, the first active skill that does can be triggered. So instead of "Alexa, ask ," it would just be "Alexa, ."

    The inability to stream music from a loc

    • Some top-level surfacing of skills has already launched publicly. Can't say anything more than that, other than that this was addressed in the Alexa keynote at AWS re:Invent last week. If you are interested, I encourage you to watch:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • As this matter is one that I directly dealt with only a few months ago, I can positively assert that Alexa has most definitely *NOT* ever been available in Canada.... and although I've heard workarounds exist, they are not officially supported. As of the time that I'm writing this, it is still not available here, and I've heard of no indication of when it will be, if ever.
  • Amazon spreads its spy network worldwide.

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