Festive-ready: Amazon Alexa will now listen to commands in Hindi, Hinglish

Users can interact with Alexa in different regional variants of colloquial Hindi.

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Alexa has been equipped with a rich Hindi vocabulary and speaks in fluent Hindi while responding to customer requests.
NEW DELHI: Users in India can now speak to Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa in Hindi to carry out tasks like checking cricket scores, requesting for songs and even asking how she's doing.

Launched in India in 2017, Alexa was able to understand and pronounce names of popular places, names and songs in regional languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Punjabi but supported commands only in English.

With the latest update, Alexa can now understand customers speaking to her completely in Hindi and Hinglish.


Alexa, which competes with digital assistants like Apple's Siri and Google Assistant, is available across Amazon's Echo range of devices as well as products from brands like Bose, MyBox, iBall and Syska.

"India has uniquely challenged our AI teams with its cultural and linguistic diversity. We have worked to ensure that customers can interact with Alexa in different regional variants of colloquial Hindi," Amazon Vice President and Head Scientist, Alexa AI, Rohit Prasad told reporters here.

He added that along with Amazon's own team, many Indian users contributed to Hindi development through the Cleo skill on Alexa.
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Prasad said Alexa already has 500 "skills" for Hindi language and the firm will continue to work with developers in India to introduce more such skills.

Amazon Wants To Take Over With Redesigned Echo, Smart Clocks, Microwave
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Amazon caused a few gasps at its Alexa event Thursday when it revealed it had 70 things to announce.

The new products give Amazon a greater reach than ever before.

Updates to the internet giant's Alexa-infused Echo smart speakers will allow them to tend to microwave cooking and even have "hunches" regarding what users may want or have forgotten.

Alexa is even developing a personality, complete with a favorite pet or beer.

Here's a round up all of the Alexa-infused products Amazon showcased, including speakers, an in-car device and, a microwave:

Amazon caused a few gasps at its Alexa event Thursday when it revealed it had 70 things to announce. The new products give Amazon a greater reach than ever before. Updates to the internet giant's Ale..
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The revamped Echo Dot has a new look, with rounded edges, and packs more punch, with a 1.6-inch driver delivering 70-per cent-louder audio than the previous model.

The speaker has lower distortion and enhanced bass. It can connect to other speakers and other apps and devices over Bluetooth.

The revamped Echo Dot has a new look, with rounded edges, and packs more punch, with a 1.6-inch driver delivering 70-per cent-louder audio than the previous model. The speaker has lower distortion an..
Read More

If you're craving more low-end tones from your Echo setup, you might consider the Echo Sub.

It delivers down-firing, 100W of bass through its 6-inch woofer, and you can pair it with an Echo or two to create a 2.1 stereo system.

If you're craving more low-end tones from your Echo setup, you might consider the Echo Sub. It delivers down-firing, 100W of bass through its 6-inch woofer, and you can pair it with an Echo or two to..
Read More

Amazon updated its Echo Plus, which includes a smart hub for a range of connected devices.

This time around, it has revamped speakers and a feature called local voice control, which lets you adjust your various smart-home devices even if your internet connection is down.

There's a temperature sensor too, so Echo Plus can tell smart thermostats to turn up the heat when it gets a little chilly.

Amazon updated its Echo Plus, which includes a smart hub for a range of connected devices. This time around, it has revamped speakers and a feature called local voice control, which lets you adjust y..
Read More

Not to be outdone by Chromecast Audio, Amazon has its own audio dongle called Echo Input, including Bluetooth, a microphone and a 3.5mm jack.

It doesn't have a speaker, so you'll need to connect it to your existing audio setup.

Not to be outdone by Chromecast Audio, Amazon has its own audio dongle called Echo Input, including Bluetooth, a microphone and a 3.5mm jack. It doesn't have a speaker, so you'll need to connect it t..
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New arrivals to the Echo lineup this year, Echo Link Amp and Echo Link, are for those who are more particular than most about audio quality.

The former includes a 60W two-channel amplifier with digital and analog connectors. Echo Link, meanwhile, connects to your audio setup to stream high-fidelity music.

New arrivals to the Echo lineup this year, Echo Link Amp and Echo Link, are for those who are more particular than most about audio quality. The former includes a 60W two-channel amplifier with digit..
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Amazon's smart display received an overhaul, as the company beefed up Echo Show with a 10-inch display alongside more powerful speakers and mics.

It has web browsers (Firefox and Amazon's Silk) this time around, along with Skype video chat support and Vevo music videos.

Amazon's smart display received an overhaul, as the company beefed up Echo Show with a 10-inch display alongside more powerful speakers and mics. It has web browsers (Firefox and Amazon's Silk) this ..
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Amazon is dipping into the DVR game this year with Fire TV Recast.

It works with over-the-air networks using an antenna and will send live TV or recorded shows to Fire tablets, Fire TV, Echo Show or mobile devices. And, of course, you can use Alexa to control it.

Amazon is dipping into the DVR game this year with Fire TV Recast. It works with over-the-air networks using an antenna and will send live TV or recorded shows to Fire tablets, Fire TV, Echo Show or ..
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It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that Amazon wants to put Alexa in your car, even if you don't have a fancy dashboard infotainment system.

Enter Echo Auto. It's a dongle that connects to your audio system and uses a phone's cell connection (because you need internet access for Alexa to work).

Along with the conversational assistance you'd expect with Alexa, you can use Echo Auto for directions.

It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that Amazon wants to put Alexa in your car, even if you don't have a fancy dashboard infotainment system.Enter Echo Auto. It's a dongle that connects to your ..
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Amazon has found a way to connect Alexa to pretty much any wall-powered device using its Smart Plugs.

Once you've linked them to an Echo or the Alexa app, you can turn devices on and off, or set timers.

Amazon has found a way to connect Alexa to pretty much any wall-powered device using its Smart Plugs. Once you've linked them to an Echo or the Alexa app, you can turn devices on and off, or set time..
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Skills are capabilities like providing weather forecasts, ordering cabs or tell stories by simply asking Alexa to do so. Over 90,000 skills are available for Alexa worldwide with a significant number catering to Indian users.

Prasad said Alexa has been equipped with a rich Hindi vocabulary and speaks in fluent Hindi while responding to customer requests.

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He indicated that other languages could also be introduced in the future.

While all Amazon Echo smart speakers like Echo Dot, Echo Show 5 and Echo Input and select smart speakers from Bose will get the update right away, brands such as Motorola, MyBox, Boat, Portronics, Fingers, Sony, iBall and Dish will launch and update their existing Alexa-built in devices to support Hindi soon.

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In August last year, Amazon had announced the launch of a new skill 'Cleo' to enable users to teach Alexa local Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi and Bengali. This, it had said, would also help the e-commerce giant improving Alexa's speech recognition capabilities as well.

Last year, Amazon had also started making its e-commerce marketplace available in Hindi to users in India to enable the next 100 million users to shop online.

Tech companies like Google and Amazon are betting on vernacular languages as reports suggest that 90 per cent of new internet users in India are native language speakers. This makes it imperative for these tech companies to offer rich experience in local languages in India that is witnessing strong growth in Internet usage as well as consumption of connected devices.
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