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Branded BPL Voice One, the smart speaker will be available on Amazon’s online marketplace exclusively. Photo: AFP
Branded BPL Voice One, the smart speaker will be available on Amazon’s online marketplace exclusively. Photo: AFP

Amazon to embed Alexa in third-party consumer electronic products

Consumer electronics maker BPL will launch an Alexa-integrated line of smart speakers in January 2018

Bengaluru: Amazon India plans to integrate Alexa into third-party consumer electronic products such as speakers and TV sets as the online retailer seeks to expand the presence of its intelligent personal assistant in India.

Consumer electronics maker BPL will launch an Alexa-integrated line of smart speakers in January 2018.

Amazon India will form more such partnerships with Indian manufacturers in the coming months.

The data produced from such partnerships will help Amazon derive valuable insights on shopping habits of Indian customers, particularly in urban areas.

Branded BPL Voice One, the smart speaker will be available on Amazon’s online marketplace exclusively, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Just like Amazon’s Echo range, which was launched earlier this month, BPL Voice One will connect to the cloud-based Alexa voice service to play music, set alarms and timers, check the calendar and weather, and control smart home devices, among others.

BPL’s smart speaker will have access to a number of Alexa skills that Amazon has planned for India. Apart from BPL, many other Indian and global developers are already building skills for use on Alexa. BPL’s speaker is still in the prototype stage and will be released after specific tests are completed, the company said.

“As a brand that pioneered numerous technologies in India, I am happy that we have the opportunity to be the first Indian consumer company to bring out an AVS (Alexa Voice Service)-enabled smart speaker. Our relationship with Amazon has been engaging and insightful, and we do believe that through AVS we will continue to give our customers the perfect mix of innovation and reliability in a brand," Manmohan Ganesh, head of corporate strategy at BPL, said in a statement.

The development comes a few months after BPL ended its exclusive partnership with Flipkart in May to tie up with Amazon.

BPL’s new partnership with Amazon may not just be limited to smart speakers. The domestic manufacturer also manufactures LED TVs, microwaves, and air conditioners, among others, and Amazon may forge partnerships with consumer electronics firms to integrate Alexa into these devices.

“Things like Alexa, Prime, etc.—these are things that a lot of Indians are discovering. So, we started talking, and the talks went very well. We’re talking about expanding our range—from televisions to washing machines and refrigerators to microwaves, etc... (Amazon) offers so much, so it was a given that we work together and make this happen," BPL chairman and managing director Ajit Nambiar said in an interview in May.

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