Alexa Voice Service Arrives in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru
Amazon has added Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru to the list of countries supporting Alexa Voice Service (AVS). The extension allows Amazon-certified manufacturers to build Alexa-enabled devices in the Alexa Built-in program, capable of accessing more of Alexa’s features and localizing existing ones.
With AVS, devices built with Alexa in the four countries will be able to use more of the smart home and other features of Alexa, conversing with the voice assistant in Spanish and access the U.S. Alexa store. They’ll be able to access local and regional news, music, and weather directly, as well as international news sources by asking Alexa directly. The voice assistant is also incorporating localized databases. That means it will be able to answer questions about the country’s calendar, sports teams, culture and history without having to specify the country or region in the question itself.
“Starting today, device makers can use the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to integrate Alexa directly into their products in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. 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 a blog post. “We are excited for you to delight customers in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru with your Alexa Built-in devices.”
AVS All Over
Amazon has been rolling out AVS to a lot of new countries over the last year, including Poland and Sweden in March and Colombia and the Netherlands at the end of 2020. They all follow the same mix of new capabilities attached to limitations. Alexa speaks the U.S. version of Spanish in Colombia and the four other Latin American countries in the new addition, while Sweden and Poland speak U.S. English. The only difference with the Netherlands is that it uses the United Kingdom’s version of English and the UK Alexa store instead. This new approach differs from when language support for new countries came through AVS and the Alexa Skills Kit, with localization following. The idea then was to let suppliers and developers prepare for Alexa’s arrival. Amazon is going the other way now, localizing information, but not languages. Native language and dialect support could follow, but there’s no mention of it yet. That said, there is a benefit for Amazon rolling out AVS first because it gives users access to a huge library of third-party skills immediately without having to build up a local development scene. Those skills will likely play a role in attracting and keeping Alexa users and maybe even inspiring local developers.
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