AMAZON INTRODUCES VOICE-RECOGNITION SERVICE

NEW YORK (AP) – Siri, meet Alexa.

Amazon is introducing a voice-recognition service called Amazon Echo that comes with a speaker-like wireless device.

Responding to voice commands after the “wake word” Alexa, the device offers updates on news and weather and provides hands-free voice control for Amazon services such as Prime Music. It has an accompanying app for tablets and smartphones.

It is available by email request only and costs $199, or $99 for Amazon Prime members.

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The Wi-Fi only device is Bluetooth enabled and can play music from Amazon Prime Music or other music services like iTunes and Spotify. It stores information via Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc.’s in-house cloud service Amazon Web Services.

It can also answer common questions like how to spell words, give weather reports and purchase digital music from Amazon Music.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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