Amazon is launching its Echo speaker in the UK this week, along with Radioplayer and its voice control assistant, Alexa.
Radioplayer is one of the official ‘skills’ in the Echo, which is powered by the voice controlled assistant.
Radioplayer features of 450+ UK radio stations, and can recommend stations based on where you are, what’s trending right now, and what else you’ve listened to. It claims to have developed the world’s most powerful browser-players for radio, plus apps to encourage radio discovery and cutting-edge hybrid radio hardware for cars.
For the Alexa ‘skill’, Radioplayer compiled a phonetic database of radio station names, ensuring Alexa recognises and pronounces them correctly.
Future developments of the Radioplayer Alexa ‘skill’ could include the ability for a listener to set their favourite stations, ask what track’s playing right now, access on-demand programmes and podcasts and set reminders for their favourite shows.
“We’ve been prototyping voice-controlled interfaces, but the Echo is by far the most capable device we’ve seen” says Michael Hill, Radioplayer’s managing director. “Voice interfaces will play a huge part in car dashboards and home automation devices, and they can help people with impaired vision and mobility too. Working with the brilliant people at Amazon has helped us put UK Radio at the forefront of voice-powered technology”.