Items tagged with alexa

Amazon's voice activated digital assistant known as Alexa has matured fast since it was first introduced, gaining thousands of new skills and forming strategic partnerships with the likes of Domino's Pizza and Uber. Now Amazon is offering up the same underlying technology that powers Alexa to developers so they can build conversational bots, or chatbots, that understand natural language. The service is called Amazon Lex. It allows developers to easily build conversational interfaces into any application using voice and text. What developers get with Amazon Lex are the advanced deep learning functionalities... Read more...
Back in early January, Huawei released the Mate 9 smartphone in the United States with a price tag of $599. To some, the Mate 9 came with unremarkable specs including a 5.9-inch 1080p display and a 2.4GHz Kirin 960 octa-core SoC with 4GB of RAM. However, the feature that arguably got the most attention was Huawei’s intention to bring Amazon Alexa integration to the Android device. Today, Huawei is following up on its promise by delivering an over-the-air (OTA) update for the Mate 9 which adds Alexa integration, albeit in a somewhat neutered form. For starters, you’ll need to have both the Huawei... Read more...
Amazon is wasting no time in weaving its Alexa digital voice assistant into more of its services and apps. Last week, Alexa made its way to Amazon’s shopping app for iOS, allowing iPhone users to enjoy most of the benefits available to Echo and Echo Dot users including controlling smart devices. Today, Amazon is announcing that its popular Prime Now two-hour delivery service is now available through Alexa. That means that you can now use your Echo device to order “tens of thousands of daily essentials” with the sound of your voice. For those that don’t already know, Prime Now (in supported metropolitan... Read more...
Amazon’s Alexa AI voice assistant is making a run for Apple’s iOS platform, and it is doing so with its Amazon app for the iPhone and iPad. This move effectively turns your iPhone into an Echo-type device, allowing you access to the thousands of skills in Alexa’s rapidly expanding repertoire. Accessing Alexa is quite simple; you only need to tap the microphone button, which resides beside the camera button within the Amazon app. From there, you can ask Alexa to play music, tell you the weather forecast, make a purchase via Amazon, track a package, or any other number of functions that you might... Read more...
Whether or not audio recorded by smart speakers such as Amazon's Echo is protected by the First Amendment of the United States is a legal argument that will have to wait for another day. That is because Amazon is no longer fighting a subpoena that was issued in an Arkansas murder case after the defendant gave the online retailer permission to share any data that might have been collected by his Echo device. James Andrew Bates of Bentonville, Arkansas, has been accused of drowning his friend Victor Collins in a hot tub back in November 2015. The two were having drinks and watching football with... Read more...
It looks as though Amazon may have another hardware release coming up. Amazon has found huge success with its family of Echo speakers, which are backed by Alexa artificial intelligence. Now, the company may be attempting to further tap into the “connected home” space with a new security camera. The product was discovered hiding away on Amazon’s servers by AFTVnews. The rather unusual — for a security camera —device has an elongated camera “pod” that sits atop a base (which should allow the camera to pivot into various positions). The camera appears to have a blue LED ring around it, which is reminiscent... Read more...
Amazon's foray into the digital assistant arena is an interesting one. Apple didn't invent the concept, but it popularized the idea when it bought the technology behind Siri and integrated into iOS with the release of the iPhone 4S. The concept caught on in the mobile world, but Amazon figured (correctly) that it could work in a smart speaker as well. Alexa was born, and now just a little over two years later, Alexa has blossomed with more than 10,000 skills available. David Isbitski, chief evangelist for Alexa and Echo at Amazon, announced the milestone on Thursday in a blog post. To add some... Read more...
Is Amazon’s Alexa protected under the First Amendment of the United States? As part of an ongoing homicide investigation, Amazon argues that any information contained or recorded by the device is protected under “freedom of speech”. The corporation claims that it is not trying to obstruct the investigation, but protect the privacy rights of its customers. James Andrew Bates of Bentonville, Arkansas has been accused of drowning his friend Victor Collins in a hot tub back in November 2015. Bates and Collins had been drinking and watching football with two other friends the night the alleged murder... Read more...
There’s no question that smart assistants like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot (and more recently, Google Home) have become indispensable tools for millions of homeowners over the past few years. The devices can be easily integrated into existing smart home control systems and can be expanded with new “skills” that add functionality. According to a new report, both Amazon and Google are looking to add the ability to place phone calls from their respective devices. The Wall Street Journal says that such functionality could arrive as soon as this year, but many roadblocks stand in the way of making... Read more...
We first brought you news of the Atari GameBand last month when the company teased the announcement via a new website. The only clues that we had about the new device were two fists raised into the air joined by the statement: “Brand New Gaming Hardware Coming soon…” Well, we now know what Atari and its partners have been working on behind the scenes thanks to a new Kickstarter campaign promoting the smartwatch. The GameBand is being billed as the world’s first gaming smartwatch, and comes bundled with 20 classic Atari games that you can play straight from your wrist. Some of the retrotastic games... Read more...
It seems that everything these days is gaining voice control, and we're okay with that. After all, it's much easier to bark out a command to our smartphone or other electronic gadget rather than navigate through menus and apps. Well, that level of convenience is now part of Plex, the popular media player software. Plex has partnered up with Amazon by creating a Plex Skill for Alexa devices. Owners of an Alexa-enabled device (Echo, Echo Dot, Tap, Fire TV, or Fire tablet) can leverage the Plex Skill to control their media. Maybe you have a specific movie in mind. You could say, "Alexa, ask Plex to... Read more...
Starbucks has always been at the forefront of high-tech mobile integration with its ordering system and other aspects of its retail stores. The coffee chain was quick to adopt wireless payments, and has even opened its store up to newfangled mobile crazes like Pokémon Go. Now, the company is opening up its app to allow ordering your favorite drinks or food items via voice or messaging. Starbucks has enabled the functionality in an iOS beta of its mobile app, allowing you to simply speak your order and even make super-fancy customizations thanks to the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The built-in... Read more...
Amazon's Alexa is incredibly useful. It can tell you the weather, update your calendar, and accidentally order a dollhouse while listening to your local news broadcast. San Diego channel CW6 was reporting about a child who “accidentally” bought a dollhouse and four pounds of cookies through their Amazon Echo. News anchor Jim Patton remarked, “I love the little girl, saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse’”. Viewers soon started calling into the station complaining that Patton’s statement made their devices try to order a dollhouse. Accidental orders happen surprisingly often. Alexa does adapt to... Read more...
Americans, get your wallets ready. Huawei just revealed that its Mate 9 smartphone will be available in the United States starting tomorrow, January 6th. The Mate 9 is the first smartphone to directly include Amazon’s Alexa. Users can ask Alexa questions or control smart home features with just their voice. Existing Mate 9 users will receive an over-the-air update with the functionality.  The Mate 9 features a Kirin 960 SoC, the first to include a ARM Cortex-A73/A53 Octa-core CPU and Mali G71 Octa-core GPU. The CPU supposedly consumes 15 percent less power than its competitors while the... Read more...
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