Amazon Inc has revamped its Alexa virtual assistant for Indian users so it can speak in a blend of Hindi and English – Hinglish – and in an Indian accent, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The Alexa app went live in India for Android and iOS users on Monday. She has been programmed to speak with an Indian intonation and refer to the living room as “drawing room”. She also knows that Independence Day is on August 15 and understands Indian spices such as jeera (cumin), haldi (turmeric) and atta (flour).
Amazon had partnered with local companies and brands to create India-specific skills for Alexa, ahead of launching its Echo line of smart speakers in the country. The app can connect to websites such as NDTV, The Times of India, Ola, Amazon Music and Saavn, among others, for its users.
“We wanted our devices to talk, walk and feel Indian,” Parag Gupta, head of product management of Amazon Devices India, told Bloomberg. “Alexa is not a visiting American, she has a very Indian personality.”