Items tagged with Amazon

We’re not sure that many people expected great things to come from Amazon’s Echo speaker when it was announced back in late 2014. After all, a voice-activated speaker seemed like a superfluous gadget in our increasingly crowded digital lives. However, Echo, which is powered by the Alexa engine, has become one of Amazon’s most popular hardware products and has spawned the Dot and Tap. Even the latest generation Fire TV taps into the Alexa engine. Developers have flocked to the platform, plugging in their services and apps to make Echo even more useful for its owners. Today, you can hail an Uber... Read more...
Amazon’s Fire lineup of tablets have for the most part offered a lot of features while skewing towards the value side with regards to pricing. This has led to devices that while durable, don’t exactly exude a sense of being “premium” tablets. Amazon is changing that today with the introduction of new aluminum enclosures for its Fire HD 10 lineup (to join the existing black or white plastic-bodied models). Amazon is introducing this premium aluminum body at the same price as the existing plastic models, with a starting price of $229. The 32GB model will set you back $259.99, while a new 64GB storage... Read more...
It's fair to say that a lot gamers had May 27 circled on their calendars. That's the day NVIDIA said its beastly GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card would be available to purchase, and considering the price to performance ratio, high demand was inevitable. Unfortunately, limited inventories have led to price gouging, which is what third-party sellers are doing on Amazon. The GeForce GTX 1080 is supposed to retail for $699 for Founders Edition SKUs, a fancy title for what are cards that follow NVIDIA's reference blueprint. Other versions are supposed to start at $599. However, if you head over to Amazon... Read more...
Amazon is bringing Alexa, its voice powered digital assistant, to a wider audience, and this time it doesn't require the purchase of a smart speaker like Echo. Alexa is now available right inside your browser as part of a project called Echosim.io, which uses 3D JavaScript animations and Alexa Voice Service (AVS) integration. "Echosim.io lives in your browser, so anyone, anywhere can access it and test their Alexa skills. You no longer need an Alexa-enabled device to test your skills. Developers worldwide can use Echosim.io to experience Alexa. Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to understand... Read more...
Nobody likes buying something only to find out that it's been marked down a few days later. Some stores, both online and brick-and-mortar, have price match policies in place that allow you to receive a refund for the difference when that happens. Amazon was one of them, but has quietly scrapped post-sale refunds on everything except televisions. The change in policy comes as startup services such as Earny that track online purchases and automatically request refunds on behalf of its users grow in popularity. There are a few mobile services that do this, including ones that don't necessarily automate... Read more...
When it comes to smartphones, we can only remember a few recent outright flops that were not only rejected by the tech community, but also general consumers. There was the ill-conceived Microsoft Kin, the HTC First “Facebook Phone” and more recently, the Amazon Fire Phone. In late 2014, Amazon took a $170 million charge on unsold Fire Phone inventory and ended up canning dozens of employees from its Lab126 “skunkworks” division that developed the smartphone.Credit: Flickr - Steve Jurvetson But if you thought that the Fire Phone was an epic fail from Amazon, you haven’t seen anything yet. In an... Read more...
Digital assistants have proven handy companions for daily activities and reminders, and not just on smartphones, but more recently in standalone form as well. Amazon was first to really capitalize on the latter, and now Google's getting in the game—it's expected to announce a device similar to Echo called Google Home later today.Google Home will be able to answer questions and perform basic tasks. The full extent of its capabilities will be made known when Google makes an official announcement, but you can expect that it will be able to play music, look up the weather, search the web for answers... Read more...
We’ve all seen Amazon’s Dash buttons; the little Wi-Fi connected devices that allow you to quickly reorder products without even having to visit Amazon’s website. Back in late March, Amazon expanded its Dash lineup to include over 100 products from dozens of household brands. Now, Amazon has rolled out a customized version of Dash, which is called the AWS IoT Button. The AWS IoT Button isn’t meant for restocking your pantry, bathroom or laundry room — instead, it’s destined to integrate into your digital life to automate tasks. As its name implies, the AWS IoT Button takes advantage of the Amazon... Read more...
If you're a content creator tied to YouTube and are itchin' for a change, Amazon's brand-new 'Video Direct' service is probably worth checking out. Amazon Video Direct is going to be a viable competitor to YouTube, but offers a little more flexibility with how you manage your content. And, because Amazon is behind all of this, you can expect excellent integration with the company's affiliate service. When content creators want to release their video on this service, they'll have four ways to do it. If everyone on planet Earth is welcome to watch, then the video will be ad-supported. Otherwise,... Read more...
Teslas are pretty darn adept at pulling into and out of tight parking spaces and garages all own their own through a feature called Summon, but what's really cool is combining the auto-park function with Amazon's smart Echo speaker. That's exactly what developer and cloud connected platforms advocate Jason Goecke did over the weekend. As a result of Goecke's "fun weekend project," he can now ask Alexa to pull his Tesla Model S out of or into his garage. To make the magic happen, he concocted an awesomesauce recipe consisting of smart technologies, cloud tools, and good old fashioned programming,... Read more...
Amazon's AI assistant Alexa can help you get a lot accomplished with nothing more than your voice, but it does have its limits. What if you wanted to know what happened on a show that already aired, for example? Or, for that matter, an episode that hasn't even aired yet? It might prove a bit complicated if the proper APIs aren't in place. Fortunately though, Syfy fans won't have to worry about that limitation for much longer. On its website, Syfy says that it's been working with Amazon to offer an extension that lets fans get quick information about the network and its programming. The company... Read more...
While it's not uncommon for consumers to want to upgrade their smartphones each and every year, the market is learning more and more that tablets don't enjoy the same kind of uptake. IDC's latest report highlights this well, as it shows a 14.7% year-over-year decline in tablet shipments. That puts the total at 39.6 million shipped, and includes both standard "slate" and detachable form-factors. With these results, it's clear that there is not as much demand for tablets as there once was, but things could change in the future as more and more users are ditching their desktops to become more mobile.... Read more...
Back in mid-September, Amazon dove into uncharted pricing territory with a $50 Fire tablet. Given its $50 price tag, specs are decidedly on the low-end of the spectrum with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 1024x600 IPS display, 8GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. At the time, the Fire was only available in black, but Amazon is now sprucing up the color palette with three new colors: magenta, blue, and tangerine. The new color options of course don’t drive the price up, but those who want to double their onboard storage have a new option to select. Amazon will sell you a Kindle Fire... Read more...
A new Indiegogo campaign is looking to make smartwatches a bit more pervasive in our modern lives. The CoWatch leverages the powerful Alexa Voice Services (AVS) platform, which is a first for a smartwatch. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen some rather intriguing third-party devices with Alexa power; look no further than the Raspberry Pi-Powered Echo smart speaker. “Speak, and CoWatch shall listen. Integrating Amazon Alexa, ask questions, order an Uber, organize your life - all with the power of your voice,” states IMCO, the company behind the CoWatch. Unfortunately, it’s not stated how... Read more...
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