(Pocket-lint) - Amazon is in the midst of announcing a slate of new products and updates, including a collaboration with Disney. There are three components to this team-up: The "Hey, Disney" wake word, the Disney Magical Companion, and a Mickey-inspired stand for Echo Show 5. Here's what you need to know.
Amazon and Disney are offering a new voice assistant (more on that below). You can access it on Echo devices by saying, "Hey, Disney". This Disney-branded personality unlocks an interactive Disney experience. It basically brings characters from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars to your Echo - along with related jokes, interactive trivia, and greetings. There are even audio environments, called "soundscapes", which are inspired by Disney films.
"Hey, Disney" will launch in 2022 for guests at Walt Disney World hotel rooms. More specifically, guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels will find an Echo Show 5 in their rooms to access the "Hey, Disney" experience and get answers to specific questions such as what time the park opens, the fastest route to the park, and so on. Or they can make guest service requests - like ordering food from room service.
Disney also plans to make "Hey, Disney" available to the general public next year. It will be an add-on that anyone can buy with their Echo device.
Disney Magical Companion
The "Hey, Disney" experience we described above will actually be guided by something called the "Disney Magical Companion".
It functions as Disney's version of Alexa and was developed “from the ground up” by Disney using Amazon's Custom Assistant. This essentially made it easy for Disney to create its own custom voice assistant, built on Alexa technology. The companion's voice has not yet been revealed, but it seems like Disney used a real voice actor for the sound, and it will be "male-sounding". We'll keep you posted as we learn more.
Mickey-inspired stand for Echo Show 5
Finally, Amazon a Mickey Mouse-themed stand for Echo Show 5 from Otterbox. You can see a teaser image of the stand at the top of this article. It costs $24.99 in the US and is available to pre-order now. It will release on 28 October 2021.