NEW ZEALAND GETS ALEXA, ECHO PRODUCTS FROM FEBRUARY

By Wares January 19, 2018 Home entertainment

Alexa is coming - Noel Leeming and JB Hi-Fi will carry the range of Echo products from early February and pre-orders are already available.

As previously indicated, Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is coming to Australia and New Zealand, along with three of the main Alexa-enabled devices: Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus.

Although Echo products will stream other streaming music services (Spotify etc), arriving in Australasia at the same time as the Echo products is Amazon's Music Unlimited on-demand streaming service (left), which is also launching in Australia and New Zealand on 1 February with a catalogue of 45 million plus songs.

Amazon Echo (right), the cylindrical shaped core Echo product with voice activation and music playback, will cost $179 here.

Echo Dot (top photo) is the more affordable, smaller, puck-shaped version which you can connect to an external speaker or use as a standalone device to access Alexa. It will cost $89.

Echo Plus ($269, left) does all the above plus it's got a built-in smart home hub to connect compatible smart devices like lighting etc, all using voice.

Alexa by the way will have a new voice for its combined "Australasian" (Australian and New Zealand) edition, along with "local knowledge and skills built by local developers".

Let's hope it won't be too confused by the different accents...

To back this up, Amazon will also be making the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) available to developers who are interested in building skills for customers in Australia and New Zealand.

Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus will be available at Noel Leeming and JB Hi-Fi from early February.

It will also be interesting to see how the arrival here of Alexa by the way will drive availability of the growing range of third party Alexa-enabled devices from the likes of Sonos, Ultimate Ears etc in the Australasian markets.

Update: You can already pre-order Echo products in New Zealand. Check out Noel Leeming and JB Hi-Fi's prices and bundles here and here.

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