Amazon Alexa and Echo set for Febuary launch

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Customers can preorder an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus online from today and the devices are expected to ship early next month.

Australian diners can now make restaurant reservations without picking up the phone, thanks to a new partnership between Dimmi and Amazon's smart assistant Alexa. David Vitek, CEO and co-founder of hipages, said: "hipages was built to make the tradie-booking process much easier and effective for both tradies and consumers".

A new Routines feature also allows you to automate a series of customisable actions using a single voice command of your choosing. Amazon is also a big-time newcomer in Australia in general, having only taken its first orders in the country late a year ago.

"Whether our customers are with friends, in the middle of a movie or at home with their family, they can simply just ask Alexa and Alexa will respond immediately to place that order with Domino's", Mr Gillespie said. Hipages then connects the user with the local tradesman to complete the job.

But this is just the first step.

But it wasn't just the obvious ads, several of the product keynotes name-checked Assistant actively ahead of Alexa even though many support both, while Toyota was among the auto manufacturers to discuss using the artificial intelligence in its vehicles.

It's puja-path for Rahul in Amethi
The inscription on the poster states: 'Rahul ke roop mein Bhagwan Ram ka avatar, 2019 mein aayega Rahul Raj'. This is the first Amethi visit of Rahul Gandhi after he became the Congress president.

"It's still early days for having conversations with your technology, but we're continuing to discover new ways to adapt and integrate that into our daily lives", he says.

For example, if you bank with the NAB or Westpac, Alexa can check your bank balance for you.

George Frazis, Chief Executive, Consumer Bank says customers want a seamless banking experience that fits with their needs and complements their lifestyles.

"The ability to control Telstra Smart Home® using your voice opens up great opportunities for our older customers and Australians with mobility issues who will be able to turn appliances and lights on and off without needing to move around their house or wait for help or use their smartphone".

On the entertainment front, Village Entertainment announced its own Alexa skill, developed in partnership with Versa, that allows a user to ask about movie times and location. "Cinema session time information is the number one search query serviced via all our customer-facing channels, amounting to millions of customer contacts each month".