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.

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