Amazon has launched two new devices Echo Dot and Amazon Tap that bring users the voices services of Alexa, Amazon's cloud-based personal assistant.
Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that will play music, provide information, read the news, set alarms and control smart home devices. In addition you can use it to order items from Amazon Prime, or pizzas from Domino and to summon an Uber.
You can think of it as a miniature version of the existing Amazon Echo, but as well as built-in speakers. it connects over Bluetooth or with a supplied audio cable so that you can use your own. If you've not encountered Echo and Alexa before this video will put you in the picture.
Echo Dot is available in limited quantities priced at $89.99 and at the moment is exclusively for Amazon Prime members through Alexa Voice Shopping using an Echo or Amazon Fire TV:
The forthcoming Amazon Tap, which will be released on March 31, is available for pre-order at $129.99 on Amazon.com. It is a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled devices with dual stereo speakers that provide immersive, 360° omni-directional audio. When connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot, it has all the capabilities of the Alexa Voice Service and. As it weighs just over a pound and with a single battery charge providing up to 9 hours of continuous playback it is highly portable.
The significance to developers of these two new additions to the Alexa range is that the Alexa Skills Kit, which we reported on last June, see Amazon Opens Up Alexa To Developers and Third Parties, provides the APIs, tools, documentation and code skills you add skills to Alexa.
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