Amazon's home-control unit, the Amazon Echo speaker which operates the company's voice-activated personal assistant Alexa, will imminently launch in the UK and Germany.
The company laid out its European expansion plan, building upon the US market where the device has been operated and piloted since late in 2014 having received over 28,000 5-star on the site. At an Amazon event in the UK this morning it was unveiled that a new white model will be released.
The system, which is looking for wider brand integrations, recently offering connectivity with BMW cars, will also launch with support from Sky Sports, Uber, the Telegraph, Just-Eat, Jamie Oliver, the Guardian, Radiocentre and Spotify.
With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity the Echo is capable of pairing up with users' home networks capable of composing shopping lists, reading emails, playing music, controlling room temperature and lighting and more, making it the perfect piece of hardware for Amazon to market its goods and services through if it is widely taken up.
Looking to cement its brand in households with Internet of Things breakthroughs, on top of its Amazon Dash buttons which recently came to London, Alexa is designed to be the centrepiece of the home, its knowledge, reportedly strengthened with 1,000 third party skills.
“Since launching Alexa, tens of thousands of developers have started using the Alexa Skills Kit with over 3,000 third party skills available to customers today,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Alexa. “We’ve been amazed at the momentum and the innovative ways developers have created new capabilities on Alexa. We’re excited to see how the expansion to the UK will accelerate developer’s ability to create engaging voice-experiences for Alexa customers.”
“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 chief executive. “We’re delighted to be bringing Echo and Alexa to the UK.”
Prime customers that pre-order the Echo today will get £50, German's will see a 50 Euro discount.