Amazon originally launched its Echo speaker back in late 2014, designed as a Bluetooth speaker with the Alexa voice assistant. Inspired by Star Trek's Starship Enterprise, Echo has been exclusively sold in the US so far, but Amazon is starting to bring it and Alexa to international markets. At an Amazon event in the UK this morning, the company unveiled its plans to launch Echo in Europe. Echo will be available in the UK and Germany this fall, alongside a new white version of the Echo.
Alexa's skill set will also be available for developers in the UK and around the world to enable new "skills" and app integration on the Amazon Echo. In the UK, Amazon is partnering with Uber, Spotify, Jamie Oliver, Sky Sports, and more to let Alexa control services and apps through just your voice. Amazon is even working with partners like Sky to broadcast brief news snippets through Alexa, and Jamie Oliver to provide recipes. You can even use Just Eat to generate fast food orders, or ask National Rail to read our your train commute times.
Amazon is opening up preorders for the Echo in the UK and Germany today, priced at £149.99 in the UK and 179.99 Euro in Germany. Amazon Prime customers will be able to get £50 or 50 Euro off Echo preorders if they order within the next couple of days. The Amazon Echo product page shows a September 28th ship date in the UK, or October 26th for Germany. The white Echo is available for $179.99 on September 28th in the US.