Amazon Expands Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to Canada

Amazon announced yesterday it was set to launch its Alexa voice assistant in Canada next month, alongside its trio of Echo voice-activated speakers.

Today, the company has officially announced the launch of Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service in Canada, to let developers build a variety of skills and also integrate the voice assistant into services and products.

Alexa skills kit

“Our philosophy from day one was to make it as easy as possible for developers to create voice experiences with Alexa that reach customers in a totally new way,” said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President, Amazon Alexa, in a statement to iPhone in Canada.

“Tens of thousands of developers are already building innovative Alexa skills and Alexa-enabled products. We are excited to expand our tools to enable developers around the world to reach Alexa customers in Canada.”

Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) lets developers add capabilities and skills to Alexa, through self-service APIs, to reach “millions of customers” in the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, India and Canada.

Companies in Canada have already started to build Alexa skills for customers, including:

  • Air Canada – ask Alexa to get flight info, ticket prices and more
  • TD Bank – ask about TD products, services, locations of branches and exchange rates
  • TELUS – make calls, check billing info, data usage, add new data or travel options
  • CBC – flash briefings for CBC News and local news, with upcoming hourly news updates
  • The Weather Network – detailed forecasts, local weather, alerts and warnings
  • Philips Hue – voice controlled lighting experience
  • Logitech – control Harmony hub-based remotes to change channels, pause shows, etc
  • Today’s Parent – “ask Today’s Parent for parenting tips”
  • Aviva – “ask Aviva for an auto quote”
  • YP Grocery – “ask YP Grocery to add milk to my list”
  • BNN – “what’s my news?”
  • Global News – “what’s the latest?”
  • Globe and Mail – “what’s the latest?”
  • Wemo – “turn off the bedroom lights”
  • Honeywell – “set bedroom to 20 degrees”
  • Sportsnet – “ask Sportsnet to play five ninety”
  • Toronto Maple Leafs – “ask Maple Leafs when’s the next game?”
  • TSN – “enable TSN flash briefing!”

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Alexa Voice Service (AVS) allows developers to integrate Alexa into any connected product, making the implementation of voice control possible. Examples of products with Alexa built-in include:

  • Ecobee4 – latest thermostat includes Alexa support and far-field voice recognition
  • Ultimate Ears – latest speakers integrate Alexa for voice control
  • FABRIQ – multi-room Chorus speakers powered by Alexa
Customers can read more about the Alexa Skills Guide here, ahead of the December launch.