Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers have been gaining popularity in the US, and now, the company is planning on bringing them to India. As per two sources of Economic Times, Amazon is preparing to launch Alexa and its Echo speakers in India by the end of this year.
Initially, Alexa will only support English voice recognition, but it will be updated eventually to add support for local languages like Marathi, Tamil, and Hindi. Amazon’s team in Chennai is working on adding multilingual support to the company’s digital voice assistant.
“We will work around these barriers using passphrases and other India-specific innovations,” said a senior executive at Amazon on condition of anonymity.
When Amazon does launch Echo in India, users should be able to use it to quickly set reminders, book cabs or flight tickets, play music or movies on Prime Video, and more. To attract new customers initially, Amazon will be pricing the Echo speaker very attractively just like it did with its Prime Video streaming service.
The company has already distributed its Echo speakers to its executives and analysts in India for testing purposes.
While Google Assistant is already available in India, it does not support regional languages. Additionally, the company does not sell its Google Home speaker in India which should give Amazon an edge if it manages to bring its Echo speaker in India first with proper regional language support for Alexa.[Via ET Tech]