Amazon has today revealed that Amazon Echo, the company's voice-controlled home assistant, will be launching in the UK in the Autumn. Despite the weather, yes, it is September - so that probably means rather soon.
Company Vice President David Limp took to the state at a central London event to announce that Echo will be launching in both the classic black model, and in a new white design, which Limp says is designed to better blend in with your home decor.
Powered by Amazon's "Alexa" technology, the device is essentially like Siri for the home, or a 21st century manservant. The idea is that you can bark orders at it like "Play me some music" or "Buy me some dishwasher tablets", and the Echo will dutifully comply. According to Limp, Alexa has 194 home-made "skills" - types of questions it can answer.
At the launch, the company was keen to emphasise privacy - as Limp emphasised that the mute button in the device literally disconnects the power from the 7 built-in microphones when pressed.
The company has also said that as of today it is extending the Alexa "skills kit" to the UK and Germany, meaning that many more British apps and services will soon be supporting Alexa. Sky Sports, Uber, The Telegraph, TuneIn, RadioPlayer, Just Eat, Jamie Oliver, The Guardian, Sky Scanner, Spotify, Laundrapp, BMW and National Rail were all named as having signed on.
This means that pretty soon you could be asking Alexa to make a reservation at a Jamie Oliver restaurant, find out the train times, and then call an Uber to get you there once it tells you that Southeastern Trains are having signalling problems again.
Echo is available to order in the UK for £149, and if you're a Prime customer you can get £50 off if you order in the next couple of days.