Amazon Echo narrows down India focus, ties up with AIR

Amazon Echo

Amalgamating tradition with technology, AIR has announced a partnership with Amazon to provide its radio service on the Amazon Echo device. It means that the national radio broadcaster’s programmes can be tuned in by giving a voice command to the Amazon device.

“Now, people across the world can access local and global services of AIR through a voice command on Amazon Echo,” AIR Director General F Sheheryar said talking to PTI.

AIR offers 17 local services such as FM Gold, FM Rainbow and Vividh Bharati, among others. Besides, it also runs 14 regional language and 27 global services. The AIR will provide all the 44 services (local and global) on Echo.

Amazon has been trying to localise the service in India. A few months ago, it announced to give a local makeover to the Alexa virtual assistant that powers Echo speakers. This Alexa uses a blend of Hindi and English and speaks with an unmistakably Indian accent.

With this development, Echo users can use Hindi words like jeera (cumin), haldi (turmeric), atta (flour) and other household items and placed orders on the device. The device can also play music from the Bollywood blockbuster film “Dil Chahta Hai” and recount stories from the ancient Panchatantra children’s fables.

For the Indian market, Amazon has also slashed 30 percent off the price tag of its devices.

According to experts, global players, including Amazon has realized the large and diverse demography of India. The country needs a more Indian version of virtual assistant which could understand Indian english.

Alphabet Inc. has also introduced a Hinglish-speaking Google Assistant that powers its instant messaging app Allo. Apple began advertising last year to hire native Hindi/Indian English speakers to help evolve and enrich Siri by crafting culturally appropriate dialog for India.

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