Tech

EXCLUSIVE: Amazon’s Aussie Alexa voice now available

It’s official, Amazon’s Alexa is an Aussie citizen. Just in time for Australia Day tomorrow EFTM can reveal that the Aussie accent is now available to existing Amazon Echo devices.

Announced just a week ago the Aussie Amazon Echo devices start shipping next week, priced from $79 for the impressive Echo Dot they are sure to rival Google Home very quickly.

However one of the quirks of launching a voice controlled device in a new market is understanding the accent and speaking in that accent.

Amazon have spent a year working on the Aussie accent ready for next week’s launch and the result is pretty impressive.

There are a bunch of “fun” things you can ask Alexa to do including jokes, cricket sledges and even sing Waltzing Matilda.

In this short demo I’ve asked her to read some Wikipedia pages too so you can hear her natural language, as well as counting and of course the jokes and playing some Farnham for me.

While Echo devices with Aussie Alexa ready to roll won’t ship until next week we can reveal that the firmware update to allow her Aussie accent is available now, and the language can be changed by existing owners of an Echo device.

At this stage we’ve only tested this on two Echo Dot devices. A first generation Echo has not taken any update to allow this yet.

We purchased two Echo Dots on Gumtree this week, and both were set to the US version out of the box.

How to Update your Amazon Echo firmware

To force a firmware update on your Echo device follow these instructions:

  1. press the mute button
  2. leave the device in mute mode for several minutes.
  3. Wait for a short space of time (around 5 but no more than 30 minutes) and if available the device will announce it is doing an update.
  4. Leave it to update.
  5. Once complete, open the Alexa App
  6. Goto Settings
  7. Open the Echo Device in question
  8. Scroll down to Language
  9. Choose English (Australian) and update.

If successful you can ask Alexa anything and hear her speaking Aussie English!

We’ll have a full review in the weeks ahead, until then – for those with an Echo – enjoy!

Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.

He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.

Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.

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