Amazon launches Alexa, Echo, and Prime Music in Canada

The $50 Muse device mounts to the dashboard

Initially, Canadians will be only be able to purchase the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot. Amazon says Alexa will speak English with a Canadian accent and have local knowledge and local skills - Alexa's voice-activated apps - made by Canadian developers. Well, apparently another company figured this out as Speak Music, a San Jose based company, have just announced the Muse, a $49 Dot for your vehicle.

Finally, Amazon has expanded its Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) so that developers around the world to build voice experiences for Alexa customers in Canada. Amazon anticipates 10,000 skills will be available for Canadian customers this year, including skills from Air Canada, CBC, the Weather Network, TD Bank, and Bank of Montreal.

Amazon Echo is the company's voice controlled smart speaker, with far-field voice control so it can hear your commands from across the room, available in three colours: Sandstone, Heather Grey and Charcoal. The Canadian Alexa voice will exactly be the same as that of the local language of the nation.

Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot are available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.ca/echo and will begin shipping December 5. This includes the Canadian launch of the ecobee4 smart thermostat for $329, while the Schlage Sense touchscreen deadbolt now also supports Alexa for $221. While it's not the Music Unlimited offering that aims to rival Spotify and Google Play Music, it offers access to 1 million song at no additional cost as long as you're a Prime member.

To access the service, customers have to activate the Alexa "voice skill", which is available on devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap.

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