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Canadian consumers being left behind in voice-activated tech wars

Virtual assistants are hard to come by in Canada, a Toronto Star article stated recently, noting that while Alexa (Amazon’s virtual assistant featuring artificial intelligence and machine learning) is readily available in electronics stores in the U.S., an Amazon spokesperson declined to comment when asked about when it might be available in Canada.

March 1, 2017  By  Renée Francoeur

The article goes on to point out how Google’s new smart speaker with assistant, Home, was released in the States in December, but is not available in Canada yet, either. What’s the hold up?

“Amazon and Google are not talking, but one potential sticking point is language. Alexa used to be English-only, but in September 2016, the company launched the devices in Germany. French-language support and bilingual packaging are two oft-rumoured reasons for the hold-up.

Then there’s that fact that Canada is a much smaller market than the U.S., which often makes it less of a priority for U.S. companies. That said, there are early Alexa adopters here who bought their devices in the U.S. and brought them to Canada. They say that most of its features work north of the border, though one exception is the ability to easily buy something with a voice command. That still requires a U.S. credit card and address.”

For the full article, click HERE.


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