Alexa is getting multilingual. On Tuesday, the online retail giant responsible for the popular AI assistant announced that the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) has now become available for developers in both the United Kingdom and Germany. That means that any device that supports AVS (think the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, for starters), will be compatible with all Alexa services in both the British and German markets, and will understand British English and German.
“AVS localization provides you with language and region-specific services to expand your audience and delight new customers,” Amazon explained in its announcement. “With a few lines of code, you can upgrade any product with Alexa to access localized languages and skills in the U.K., Germany, and U.S. Now your end customers can speak with Alexa and receive responses and content in their preferred language and region.”
This latest update builds upon previous improvements to AVS — just last year, Amazon opened up the service to all U.S. developers, which allowed them to integrate Alexa with any connected device featuring a microphone and speaker. Since then, AVS integrations have abounded — everything from smart home products to in-car experiences have emerged as a result of this new open platform.
Of course, we should point out that despite Alexa’s availability in these new markets, not all of its associated services will work internationally. As TechCrunch noted, iHeartRadio is only available in the United States, which means that it won’t work in Germany or the U.K. regardless of AVS. The same goes for Kindle book reading and traffic reports.
However, as the world grows ever more connected, it seems safe to assume that even these services will soon be readily available overseas.
So if you’re a German or British developer looking to stretch your development muscles, you can start today with AVS.