Alexa – turn on my local Heart radio station
Radioplayer will be available on the Amazon Echo, meaning you can ask Alexa – its personal voice assistant – to play any radio station on the service by using your voice.
The UK launch date for the smart speaker was announced today at an Amazon press event.
Radioplayer is one of the official ‘skills’ in the Echo, and will be available to UK customers from launch. You can ask Radioplayer to play one of 450+ UK radio stations, or to recommend stations based on where you are, what’s trending right now, and what else you’ve listened to.
“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”.
For the Alexa ‘skill’, Radioplayer compiled a unique 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.
The Echo device, which was first launched in the US in 2014, is also capable of answering questions, reading audiobooks, providing information on local businesses, and controlling home hardware devices, all using the Alexa voice service.