Items tagged with Amazon

Is there anything that Alexa can’t do? The Alexa-powered Echo first launched nearly two years ago and it has grown from a seemingly tame voice-activated “smart” speaker to a home automation hub that features over 1400 “Skills”. And the Echo family itself has grown to include the Echo Tap and Echo Dot. Today, August Home has announced that one more Alexa skill is coming to the Echo family; one that will enable you to lock your front door using the sound of your voice. The August Smart Lock is now baked into the Alexa ecosystem — to get started, simply say “Alexa, enable August Smart Lock” and the... Read more...
If you live in the United Kingdom, a drone instead of a human, may soon be delivering your Amazon packages. Amazon Prime Air is currently working with the United Kingdom government in order to test drones in rural and suburban areas. Amazon has been granted permission to fly drones beyond the line of sight of operations, test sensors on the drones to see if they can avoid obstacles on their own, and test to see if one person could potentially control several drones at once. Paul Misener, Amazon's Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communications remarked, “The U.K. is a leader in enabling... Read more...
One of the perks of being an Amazon Prime member is you get to stream a growing catalog of movies and television shows similar to Netflix. Unlike most rival streaming services, however, Amazon now lets you download flicks to a memory card for offline viewing via the Amazon Video app for Android devices, a new feature that comes courtesy of the latest update.The ability to download Prime movies and TV shows for offline viewing isn't entirely new. Previously it was possible to save streaming content to your phone or tablet's internal storage, so whether you were going on a cross country flight or... Read more...
By the numbers, Amazon's second annual Prime Day was a smashing success. Compared to last year's Prime Day, customers this time around ordered 60 percent more good on a worldwide basis, and 50 percent more in the U.S. alone. It was the biggest single shopping day ever for Amazon devices, with every device category outselling what they'd done during Amazon's inaugural Prime Day last July, including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and Alexa-enabled gadgets. "Prime itself is the best deal in the history of shopping, and Prime Day was created as a special benefit exclusively for our Prime... Read more...
The second annual Amazon Prime Day is right around the corner, and just as we expected, the company is pushing the deals as hard as it possibly can. As if a singular mega-deals day wasn't enough to build up hype, Amazon has been offering daily deals to lead up to the big day - and yes, those are only for Amazon Prime members, much like the big sale itself. Now we learn that the company has one other trick up its sleeve, and it involves its super-smart AI assistant Alexa and its stand-alone cylindrical hub. With Alexa, you can be given audio cues about sales that are not revealed anywhere else.... Read more...
Human hands have built a great many things, including robots and machines that replace human hands. In celebration of this transition from flesh and blood to metal and lubricant, Amazon's annual Picking Challenge tasks those in the field of robotics to compete in a competition to build automated systems that can simplify the task of picking items from shelves. This year it was won by Team Delft, a collaboration between TU Delft Robotics Institute located in the Netherlands and Delft Robotics. The challenge is separated into two finals, one for stowing and one for picking. For the stow task, robots... Read more...
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't the only two shopping events where you can save big bucks on electronics and all sorts of other items, not if Amazon has any say in the matter. The massive web retailer has begun promoting its second annual Prime Day, an online shopping extravaganza that's exclusive to Prime members. Amazon's kicked off its first Prime Day last year in celebration of the site's 20th anniversary. It turned out to be Amazon's biggest event ever, to be topped only by this year's Prime Day, which is scheduled for July 12. If you're a Prime member, you'll be able to shop deals on... Read more...
If you’re a cheapskate when it comes to purchasing a new smartphone, Amazon is doing its best to revive the Fire Phone without actually manufacturing its own hardware (which was a disastrous endeavor). The online retail giant has initially partnered with two hardware OEM to subsidize the cost of brand new Android smartphone in exchange for some Amazon-specific “enhancements”. The subsidized pricing comes in the form of a Special Offers-like program that puts ads for Amazon products and services on the device’s lock screen. You can opt to click on the offers to see if they’re to your liking or immediately... Read more...
If you're a big fan of Amazon's Dash buttons, prepare to be floored: the company has just added 50 new buttons to its portfolio. For some, most of their shopping list could be ordered through these buttons - unless of course those orders include Mrs. Dash spices, which ironically don't have their own button. It's impossible to say that Amazon has catered to a certain audience with its 50 new Dash buttons, because really, they're all over the place. Want soup? No problem! Eat too much garlic and need to freshen up the place? Might as well pick up some air freshener, and not to mention some... Read more...
Who knew from the outset that Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and its underlying Alexa voice assistant would become this popular and have such a huge backing from the developer community? But as Amazon’s Alexa Skill Kit, Alexa Voice Service and Alexa Fund turn a year old, we’re seeing even more greatness added to the platform. Amazon today announced that it has enabled functionality that makes adding new Skills to your Echo incredibly simple. All you have to do is say “Alexa, enable NBC News” and you have instant access to the Skill. Or, you could say “Alexa, enable Beer Trivia” to help get your drinking... Read more...
Amazon just announced Inspire, a free service for the search, discovery and distribution of digital educational resources. Teachers often rely on Pinterest, curriculum books, and colleagues for lessons and unit plan inspiration. Amazon Inspire will provide educators, regardless of funding or location, access to upload and share free digital teaching resources. Amazon first announced its commitment to the Open Educational Resources, or OER movement, in October 2015 when the U.S. Department of Education launched its #GoOpen campaign. Amazon Web Services or AWS is providing multi-year infrastructure... Read more...
Google is currently building a live support app with screen-sharing capabilities for its Nexus line of smartphone. The goal is to create a feature similar to Amazon’s Mayday button found on Fire tablets and the defunct Fire Phone. In the past, Google support has been particularly challenging for those who have bought their phones online. A screen-sharing feature would make this experience less frustrating for customer and would allow Google’s tech support to presumably resolve issues more quickly. At this point, however, we know very little about what screen-sharing feature will offer. It... Read more...
Amazon’s entry-level e-reader is getting a makeover; its first in two years. The first thing you’ll notice is that this marks the return of a white color option for the Kindle lineup in six years. Of course, if you prefer the staid black, you can still go that route as well. Memory has been doubled, which should help to improve the overall performance of the 5.7-ounce e-reader. The new Kindle is also both thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and the edges have been rounded out to make the e-reader easier to grip during extended reading sessions. This is also the first Kindle to incorporate... Read more...
Pebble Core backers on Kickstarter are getting a little something extra. They will be first to experience Amazon Alexa on Pebble’s infinitely hackable ultra-wearable when shipping begins in early 2017. The company claims to be bringing “Amazon’s acclaimed voice services to a fully-independent, 3G-connected wearable device for the first time ever.” Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky stated, “Experiencing Amazon Alexa on-the-go right from Pebble Core is game-changing for wearable technology. We’re longtime fans of the powerful voice services Alexa delivers, and it only gets smarter and more useful over time.... Read more...
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