Amazon's smart speaker to launch in NZ

Amazon’s smart speaker system is set to launch in New Zealand next month.

The Echo Dot will cost $89. Source: 1 NEWS

Using the company’s Alexa system, the Echo speaker can answer questions, play music and even turn the lights on and off with voice commands.

You can also ask it to play the latest news bulletin. 1 NEWS, with twice daily updates, will be among the services, known as “skills”, on the device at launch.

The user just says “Alexa, what’s the news?” or “Alexa, read my flash briefing” and the latest bulletin will play.

John Gillespie, TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs, says: “This 1 NEWS skill for Alexa gives New Zealanders an innovative way to access the latest local and international headlines, making it easier than ever to stay up to date with breaking news stories that matter.”

Amazon announced today that the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot speakers will be coming to New Zealand in early February.

The Echo will cost $179, the Echo Plus, which can integrate with a smart home, will be $269, and the Dot $89.

The company has worked on the software so it recognises Kiwi terms and the system works with music services including Spotify, TuneIn and Amazon Music.

More information about Alexa here (US version)