The smart speaker wars have arrived in Canada, as Amazon’s Echo devices have started to ship today from Amazon.ca as part of their official launch, which also means the rollout of the company’s Alexa voice assistant, set to take on Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant.
Currently, Amazon has their Echo line up on sale as part of “limited time” introductory pricing:
Amazon has made it easy for developers and companies to integrate Alexa “skills”, so asking the voice assistant for the status of your Air Canada flight, news headlines, sports scores and more is possible. Alexa also can control smart home devices which support it, such as the latest ecobee4
, Philips Hue lights
, Wemo devices
Other companies such as Telus will also have skills for Alexa, allowing customers to get account information and make changes such as adding roaming services. Manulife will let users use their voice to track vision care, dental and other benefits starting this month. The Toronto Star will also have Alexa skills, when users ask “what’s in the news”, with headlines updated hourly.
Canada joins the U.S., UK and Germany as the only countries in the world to support Amazon Alexa.
Last month during Amazon’s Alexa announcement, the company also debuted Prime Music
for Prime subscribers, bringing 1 million ad-free songs, also available for offline playback—and available on Echo devices.
Did you order an Echo device from Amazon?