Amazon Brings Alexa Integration Support to Sweden and Poland
Amazon has extended support for Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to Sweden and Poland, enabling companies certified by Amazon to build smart devices that integrate Alexa directly. These Alexa Built-in creations can access more of the voice assistant’s features, including localized news and other services.
AVS Sverige & Polska
With AVS, Alexa users in Sweden and Poland will be able to tune into local radio news sources like Sveriges Radio and RMF FM, respectively, when they ask the voice assistant for the news. The same goes for local music radio stations. How Alexa responds to questions will also be localized so that Polish and Swedish users will get relevant answers to more general questions. For instance, someone in Sweden asking who the king is will be told who the Swedish king is currently (Carl XVI Gustaf), and asking when IndependenceDay is in Poland will prompt the Polish holiday’s date (Nov. 11) weather predictions. Device makers will also be able to offer international news, music, and other informational services via Alexa now, too, just oriented toward the nations where they sell the devices.
“You can now offer your Alexa Built-in products to more customers, with a growing number of Alexa features, smart home integrations, and skills,” Amazon explained in an announcement. “We are excited for you to delight customers in Sweden and Poland with your Alexa Built-in devices.”
But, while AVS localizes information, languages are not a part of the expansion. That means Alexa will speak U.S. English in Sweden and Poland, and users will have access to the U.S. Alexa skills store. Native language support is a possibility in the future, but the language barrier may limit Alexa use somewhat. Some surveys claim 86% of people in Sweden speak in English, while in Poland, the number is around 37%.
New Model AVS
Amazon seems to be following the model it used to bring AVS to Colombia and the Netherlands in November. The only differences are that Alexa speaks the U.S. version of Spanish in Colombia, and the Netherlands is using the United Kingdom’s version of English and the UK Alexa store instead. It’s a shift from earlier when language support for new countries came through AVS and the Alexa Skills Kit, with localization following later on. The idea was to let suppliers and developers prepare for Alexa’s arrival. Amazon seems to have decided to follow that line-up backward now.
Voicebot first reported at the end of 2017 that Amazon had begun selling Echo devices in 89 countries, including Poland and Sweden, even if Alexa didn’t speak the local language and Amazon had no online presence. Voicebot founder Bret Kinsella has hypothesized that language additions will go first to those countries with a version of Amazon’s shopping website, as the “presence of Alexa-enabled products provides more items for Amazon to sell in the market, and Alexa devices can be used to conduct transactions once they are in customers’ homes.”