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Sony Brings its New Soundbar to India

In India, Sony has a distribution network comprising of over 12,000 dealers and distributors, 230 exclusive Sony outlets, 24 branch locations and over 300 service touch-points

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Sony
Sony to restructure its mobile division as well.

Sony on Monday launched its new soundbar, HT-Z9F supported by Dolby Atmos technology for Rs 59,990 in India.

Combined with Sony’s vertical surround engine and the S-Force PRO Front Surround technology, the 5.1-inch soundbar is compatible with voice assistants Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

“The new HT-Z9F, will be a game changer for the home cinema segment,” said Sunil Nayyar, Managing Director, Sony India.

The device comes with ‘Vertical S’ button on the remote that would enable the soundbar to produce three-dimensional sound.

Sony has also launched a pair of rear speakers, SA-Z9R that cost Rs 9,990 designed to go with the HT-Z9F and extend the surround sound experience.

Sony Pictures, North Korean, Computer
Pedestrians walk past an exterior wall of Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, California, Dec. 4, 2014. That year, Sony became the victim of a cyber hack by North Korean operatives from the Lazarus Group. VOA

The HT-Z9F comes with online and USB connectivity in addition to Bluetooth and can stream music using the Chromecast built-in.

“On pre-booking of the HT-Z9F from July 1 until July 8, the rear surround speaker SA-Z9R would be available at no additional cost,” the company added.

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The devices would be available in Sony brand shops, major electronic stores and online stores.

In India, Sony has a distribution network comprising of over 12,000 dealers and distributors, 230 exclusive Sony outlets, 24 branch locations and over 300 service touch-points. (IANS)

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Developers Can Now Start Building Hindi Skills for Alexa in India

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between

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Alexa, Amazon, Virtual Assistant
Amazon Echo led the Indian smart speakers market with 59 per cent share in 2018 (Representational image). Pixabay

Amazon on Tuesday announced that developers can now start building Alexa skills for customers in India with the new Hindi voice model available in Alexa Skills Kit (ASK).

Developers would get a headstart and submit skills for certification as the company prepare to offer engaging experiences for Alexa users in one of the most spoken languages in the country, the company said in a statement.

Commercial hardware manufacturers who want to develop Alexa Built-in products for Hindi-speaking customers in India can request early access to the invite-only Alexa Voice Service (AVS) developer preview.

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of free, self-service APIs and tools that make it fast and easy for developers to create skills, or capabilities, for Alexa.

Amazon last year launched a new category of skill called “Cleo” that enables customers in India help Alexa learn Hindi and other languages. The idea was to improve Alexa’s language model and help her gradually speak in local languages.

Lawsuit, Amazon, Alexa
The lawsuit alleges Amazon of saving ‘voice prints’ of millions of children by unlawfully recording their conversations around Alexa-enabled smart devices. Pixabay

Apart from Hindi, users can respond to Alexa’s English statements in Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati and other regional languages.

Alexa is currently available in over 80 countries and speaks more than 14 language variants.

One can sign up for the first webinar on Hindi skill building scheduled on July 24. Developers in India who have their Hindi-language skill certified for publication in India before July 31 would receive exclusive early bird Alexa merchandise.

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Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist for Alexa, told IANS recently that the company is working on infusing regional languages capabilities in Alexa for the Indian market but these are early days.

Right now, Alexa can understand some Hinglish commands but these are few and far between. (IANS)