Amazon launches Echo, Alexa in Canada

The cloud-based AI that has been available for years south of the border and featured in commercials with Hollywood celebrities will come to Canada along with Amazon's Echo hardware.

The Amazon Echo is a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker with seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and noise cancellation for noisy rooms.

"Tens of millions of customers are already using Alexa, and today we're excited to bring her to Canada with an experience designed from the ground up for our Canadian customers", said Senior Vice President of Amazon Alexa Tom Taylor said in a statement.

Canadian customers can also pre-order a trio of Alexa-powered devices - Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot - that will begin shipping December 5. The BMO skill can be enabled through Alexa by simply saying "Alexa, enable BMO skill", or through the Alexa app on iOS and Android. The skills include skills from Air Canada, CBS, the Weather Network, TD Bank and Bank of Montreal.

The next generation Amazon Echo and the Echo Plus, which is equipped with a built-in smart home hub.

Also available today is Amazon's new Smart Home Store, which lists all smart devices available for purchase from a variety of manufacturers. The devices will also be available from a number of retailers including Best Buy, The Source, Staples, TELUS, Bell, Bed Bath & Beyond, and TSC.

The retail giant said today that Amazon's digital brain, as well as its Prime Music service are available now in Canada.

There a variety of genres available on Prime Music, plus mixes exclusively featuring Canadian artists, such as "Made in Canada: Rock and Alternative", to "Quebec Country Now", "Acoustic Commute", and "Chanteuse Québécoise.".

If you're a Canadian resident, you can pre-order all three Echo products, with the regular Echo going for $100 CDN.

  • Joey Payne