Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Australia waits for Amazon’s Alexa to start listening

Australia waits for Amazon’s Alexa to start listening

alexa

Alexa’s name kept popping up everywhere at the recent CES 2017 electronics show in Las Vegas, but Amazon is still tight-lipped as to when its voice-controlled personal assistant will officially come to Australia.

When it comes to online ecosystems Amazon rivals Apple and Google but, unlike its competitors, the US online retail giant has been slow to expand in our part of the world. Amazon supposedly has big plans for Australia, but so far we have very little to show for it.

Back in 2013, Amazon finally started selling eBooks and Kindle readers directly via an Australian website and it recently launched the Kindle Unlimited service locally – offering access to a vast library of eBooks for $13.99 per month. We also saw Amazon Video quietly launch in Australia late last year in time for Top Gear reboot The Grand Tour but, beyond this headline act, the streaming video service has very little to offer local viewers.

Rumours abound that Amazon will significantly expand its Australian retail efforts this year, perhaps getting into fresh produce and even opening its own chain of physical supermarkets. At this time we’d expect to see more Amazon hardware available locally, such as the Chromecast-style Fire TV streaming video dongle and the Amazon Echo benchtop speaker.

Amazon’s Echo benchtop speaker is powered by Alexa, the voice-controlled personal assistant which sits at the heart of the retail giant’s online ecosystem – similar to Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana. Like the others, Alexa’s ambitions is to be your virtual best friend.

Always at your beck and call, Alexa is expanding beyond the Echo speaker to reach smartphones, home entertainment gear, cars and even kitchen appliances such as fridges and ovens. Alexa also talks to a range of third-party smarthome gear such as Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and LifX.

Alexa’s strength is that it’s tied directly into Amazon’s online store, so while you’re standing in the kitchen you can tell Alexa to add things to your online shopping list or even order items directly from Amazon. Alexa is also linked to a wide range of third-party services, letting you flop down on the couch and stream Netflix to your Fire TV while you check your FitBit stats and order a Domino’s pizza.

Of course none of this is officially supported in Australia yet, although it is possible to import an Echo speaker via a US delivery address and then link it to some services. Alexa will keep popping up in more and more appliances around our homes, at least for US users, but it remains to be seen whether Amazon’s plans for Australia in 2017 are all talk.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

pc-clean

Most people, if given the choice, will try to skip out on doing the evening dishes, or for that matter even loading a dishwasher. It’s not exactly the most thrilling of chores to undertake, but if you don’t clean your dishes somehow, everything ends up dirty and unusable. It’s much the same story for your… More 

fb

Facebook is a service beloved by many, because it makes it so very easy to keep in touch with friends, family, acquaintances and more in an environment that’s generally easy to use and that can be quite fun. It’s one of the world’s busiest web sites, and one of the tech world’s most valuable companies…. More 

browsers

The chances are good that when you browse the web, you’re doing so via Google’s own particular browser, Google Chrome. Chrome has anywhere between 47% to 60% of the browser market sewn up. That might not seem that impressive, but the next largest market share is usually given to Apple’s Safari browser at between 13%… More 

mackeyboarda

Apple sells itself as a premium brand, both in style terms, but also for the quality of the computing equipment it sells. That’s a proposition that can very much become quasi-religious for some folks, although few would suggest that Apple sells bad computing equipment. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, there’s no doubting that consumers… More