Amazon is taking Alexa north of the border.
The retail giant said today that Amazon’s digital brain, as well as its Prime Music service are available now in Canada. Canadian customers can also pre-order a trio of Alexa-powered devices — Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot — that will begin shipping Dec. 5.
Though Amazon has quickly expanded some of its services around the globe, such as Prime Video, the company is taking its time with Alexa. Today it is available in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan and India. Amazon wants to make sure it gets the nuances of language right and tailor Alexa’s capabilities to each new market.
Engadget reports that Alexa has adopted a Canadian accent for her debut in the Great White North, but she does not speak French, one of the nation’s two official languages. Developers have also built more than 10,000 Alexa skills for Canadian customers from companies like Air Canada, TD Bank, TELUS and more.
“Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we’re excited to bring her to Canada with an experience designed from the ground up for our Canadian customers,” said Senior Vice President of Amazon Alexa Tom Taylor said in a statement. “The combination of Alexa and Echo provides customers with hands-free access to music, weather, news, information, and more — just ask.”
In addition to the Echo devices, Alexa will soon be coming to several third-party devices through the Alexa Voice Service, which lets hardware developers integrate the digital brain directly into their products. Alexa-powered devices coming soon in Canada include Toronto-based ecobee’s ecobee4 smart thermostat; Ultimate Ears’ Blast and Megablast portable, waterproof speakers; and Fabriq’s wireless, multi-room Chorus speakers.