Amazon announced a new feature that will be coming to Amazon Echo devices. The tech giant said that, with a 99-cent upgrade, users would be able to replace Alexa’s voice with one from a celebrity. The first one to be offered is easily one of the most recognizable voices on the planet: Samuel L. Jackson.
Amazon made the announcement on Wednesday during a product reveal in Seattle. Amazon’s David Limp credited neural text to speech technology that has the ability to mimic the voices of celebrities as why the company can make the feature available. He also noted that it would only be done with a celebrity’s expressed permission.
According to a report by Insider, other celebrity voices aside from Jackson’s are slated to be available next year, though Jackson’s will be the first and it’s scheduled to be available later in 2019.
Jackson, according to an official Amazon blog post, “can tell you jokes, let you know if it’s raining, set timers and alarms, play music and more — all with a bit of his own personality.”
Users will also have the ability to choose between two versions of Jackson’s voice, “explicit and non-explicit.” If they select one option and decide they want to use the other, users can toggle between the two in the Alexa app settings menu.
As the world of voice-enabled devices gets increasingly crowded, Amazon worked to set itself apart. Announcements focused on Alexa and various Echo devices dominated Wednesday’s event.
The Echo Show, the video-enabled variant, will have an upcoming update. Additionally, a new version of the Echo Dot – that will feature a clock and is designed specifically for nightstands – will launch with a $59 price point.
New Echo units were also announced, including the Studio – a high-end model that will retail for $200 – and Echo Buds, a pair Bose-powered wireless earbuds.
Currently, about 100 million devices have Echo speakers, an offering that Amazon introduced to the market five years ago.
It’s isn’t clear whether the $0.99 upgrade will only include Jackson’s voice or if that price includes access to any other celebrity voices that may be added in the future.