WRAL TV

WRAL news and weather now available on Amazon Echo

Posted December 8, 2016
Updated December 28, 2016

WRAL just got a little more connected.

Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way news is consumed, and WRAL is staying on the leading edge of this evolution with its integration into Amazon's Echo platform.

Amazon Echo is a hands-free, always-on speaker that responds to voice commands, and delivers information requested by the user through interaction with Amazon's voice service, Alexa.

Much like Apple's "Siri" and Google's "OK, Google," Alexa is a cloud-based virtual personal assistant that provides voice feedback to user interaction.

Among its features is automating a home's connected devices, ordering necessities from Amazon.com, hailing an Uber, ordering pizza, playing music, setting a timer or alarm, checking the time, providing weather and traffic updates, and reading the news.

More than 65 percent of Echo users have asked Alexa to read the news. Now, for the first time, the news will be localized for Echo owners in the WRAL viewing area.

By simply adding WRAL to Echo's Flash Briefing, users can hear the latest headlines read by WRAL's anchors and reporters. Echo users can also enable the WRAL skill, which offers even more content, including weather updates for the Triangle region of North Carolina from WRAL's team of expert meteorologists.

"We are excited to offer WRAL News on Amazon's Echo platform and other Alexa-enabled devices," said Jake Seaton, digital product manager for WRAL.com. "This is new territory for everyone, and we think that the growing user base here in the Triangle will find value in on-demand access to the local news they know and trust."

To access WRAL news and weather, users should say: "Alexa, enable WRAL." Echo owners also can use the Alexa app on their smartphone or tablet to enable content from WRAL. Tap Skills from the main menu, search for WRAL and enable the skill.

Once the WRAL skill has been enabled, users can say, "Alexa, open WRAL," or "Alexa, ask WRAL for the weather," or "Alexa, ask WRAL for my news."

To enable WRAL news headlines as part of Echo's Flash Briefing, open Settings from the left sidebar in the Alexa app, tap Flash Briefing, tap Get more Flash Briefing content and search for WRAL. Once enabled, Echo owners can get WRAL News by asking, "Alexa, what’s my flash briefing?" or "Alexa, what’s new?"

Alexa is built into the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Fire TV (second generation), Fire HD 8 tablet and Triby, a portable smart speaker and message board.

According to survey of nearly 1,300 consumers, Alexa scored higher on satisfaction with its voice recognition technology than both Siri and OK Google.

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