Amazon Echo and Music Unlimited coming to Australia and New Zealand

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Rival tradesman marketplace, hipages, also claimed to be one of the first transactional skill-based services to integrate with Amazon Alexa in Australia.

However, Amazon is also offering introductory pricing .

The bank past year unveiled a 'Talk to NAB' app for Google Assistant. However in 2017, Amazon expanded their operations to Australia and New Zealand, and also announced that they would be making their Echo speakers and Alexa available in those markets. Further discounts are available on multi-packs.

The Echo Plus does everything the Echo can but comes packing a smart home hub that makes connecting to your smart home devices easy.

If you've somehow not heard, the Echo family of products is powered by Alexa, Amazon's voice assistant.

Additionally, Amazon's music service Amazon Unlimited will be launched in Australia and New Zealand on February 1st. Alexa detects the wake word "Alexa", and begins processing the voice request which follows. Alexa can perform web searches, create calendar events, and play music, among other things.

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Amazon's Alexa will be customised for Australia - with Alexa sporting her very own Aussie accent, so Australians have a new mate to catch up on the latest in news and entertainment with, or to get some help around the house. You can also stream music from your Bluetooth device, or connect to Spotify, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.

"Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we're excited to bring her to Australia with a localised experience designed for our Australian customers", said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon devices and services.

If you ask about local weather or news, Alexa will scan local sources in order to give you the most relevant information. In order to cancel out extraneous noises, the Amazon Echo takes advantage of the beamforming technology, which merges the audio signals gathered from the speaker's seven microphones. The country has been behind the smart home curve, though research firm Telsyte predicts that by 2021 the average household will have 14 smart home products connected.

Users will be able to choose between three plans.

You can also ask it to read the news and it will do so whilst showing the relevant video or animation, if that appeals to you when getting your daily digest from your preferred news source.

Westpac said that the "Westpac Banking Skill" will let customers check their account balance, recent spending history, and reward points status using Alexa.

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