Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, available for pre-order in the UK starting today, will enable users to search flights using Skyscanner.
The Echo was developed as a speaker with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity that can also fulfil some functions of a smartphone, enabling users to search for news, weather and other such information by voice command using the Alexa Voice Service.
The Alexa Voice Service integrates Skyscanner and other applications such as Uber and the Guardian as ‘skills’ that Alexa can access for the user upon command. To enable these skills, users must download the Alexa app, which is available on iOS, Fire OS and Android.
Skyscanner Head of Bots and Conversational Search, David Low said: “By bringing Amazon Alexa and Skyscanner together, travellers in the UK now have the ability to search for flights with a simple voice conversation. In just a few words travellers will be given suggestions on flights along with the latest prices – quick and easy.”
Additional features include control of smart home devices such as lights, thermostats and fans.
Echo was launched in the UK today, but has been available in US markets for close to two years, during which time analysts estimate somewhere between 1.6 million and 5 million have been sold.
Amazon has released Echo at £149.99, but Amazon Prime members who order before Friday will receive a £50 discount.