It is now confirmed that Amazon has initiated plans to market its Echo home speakers powered with Alexa Voice service in the Indian market towards the end of this year. According to an Economic Times report, The AI-based device can accept your voice commands and execute a variety of errands, including booking a cab for you and playing music.
All these can be done without your having to lift a finger or getting out of whatever you are doing. However, there are some limitations currently.
One is that Alexa is programmed to accept commands only in the English language. Amazon understands that launching such a device in the Indian market would limit its scope and be accepted by a very small base of customers.
The companyâ€™s executives and people in the know, claim that they are already working on developing AVS to respond to commands in some of the prominent regional languages. These may include Hindi, Marathi and Tamil and a few more.
But, according to reports, Amazon, without waiting for this development, has already gone ahead and distributed the device to some select customers with a view to test it out in the Indian conditions and to obtain their feedback.
One of the main factors for consideration for the Echo speaker to succeed will be how soon Amazon is able to bring on board the different service providers in the Indian market to offer their services in response to the commands and requests from the automated device in place of a human interface.
Amazon does have the advantage of the huge customer base it has garnered through its online retail venture, where it figures as the second largest in the Indian market. The recent launch of Amazon Prime subscription has also helped it retain a loyal list of customers who can be tapped with some attractive offers to buy its Alexa enabled Echo home speakers, to start with.
Some of the possibilities a customer can enjoy with the Amazon Echo sound interesting. These include sending email and text messages, setting up of reminders, even help with your childrenâ€™s lessons and so on.
The user might have to have a good Wi-Fi connectivity to achieve all these functionalities and certain amount of education will also be needed so that the Indian users can fully comprehend the power of the device and make use of it.
The company is also yet to make an announcement on the price at which the Amazon Echo will be launched in India. In the US context, the prices vary from just $50 to $179. In Indian Rupees, this could mean anywhere between Rs 3, 250 to Rs 11, 600.