Please note: Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, and Dot in Japanese are only available for purchase and use in Japan! For those of you who are not currently residing in Japan you will not be able to buy or use this.
If you are living in Japan, Alexa can finally live in your home or office and do whatever you want! Okay, not whatever you want, but you can ask her tons of questions and have her add things to your Amazon shopping list and whatnot. We have the English-speaking Amazon Echo at the Tofugu office and she's good if you want to know the weather or play daily Jeopardy or hear a bad joke.
Alexa only responds if she can understand what you're saying. That means your Japanese pronunciation has to be on point.
While we can't get our own Japanese version, there are plenty of ways you can use one to improve your Japanese, specifically your speaking and listening skills.
Alexa only responds if she can understand what you're saying. That means your Japanese pronunciation has to be on point (the same principle applies to Siri). And if she thinks you said something else, you'll have to try to figure out what she heard based on how she responds.
You can listen to the news from NHK and Asahi Shimbun. You can ask any simple question (and we're hoping she understands more than her current English iteration which seems to hate all our weird questions).
Basically, if you're in Japan you can find lots of ways to use the new Amazon Echo and Dot to help you improve your speaking and listening. You just have to be there already and have a decent chunk of change to spend on one.