Items tagged with alexa

Sometimes it seems like Amazon is trying to take over the world, and a big part of that plan involves Alexa, the company's digital assistant found in its Echo smart speaker products. Alexa is also found in some third-party gear, the newest of which is a hands-free, turn-by-turn navigation product from Garmin called "Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa" (just Garmin Speak from here on out). "Our vision is that the Alexa service will be everywhere our customers want it, including inside the car," said Ned Curic, vice president of automotive at Amazon Alexa. "Alexa on the Garmin Speak can help customers... Read more...
Amazon has updated its voice assistant Alexa with a cool new feature that many people who have an Echo device with multiple users have been wanting. That new feature is the ability to identify voices and allow access to your own messages, playlists and other content without having to tell the Echo device specifically which content to access. The new feature started to roll out yesterday. Voice recognition works with the Echo smart speaker and any other devices with Alexa built-in. The feature comes after Google launched its Home speaker earlier this year with similar functionality. Setting the... Read more...
Amazon first introduced the Alexa-powered smart speaker back in late 2014, and it made a huge splash in the smart home market. Since that time, Amazon has introduced a steady stream of new Echo devices, but the original has remained largely the same (save for the white color option). That changes today, as Amazon has just announced a smaller, second generation Echo. The new Echo is roughly half the size of the original (at least with respect to height), but still larger than the diminutive Echo Dot. The new AI smart speaker gains a dedicated bass tweeter, and supports multi-room audio, allowing... Read more...
Amazon is giving its Fire HD 10 tablet a much-needed makeover, and is doing so with some attractive pricing that should help spark sales for the company. The first big update comes from the tablet's 10.1-inch display, which has been upgraded to support a resolution of 1920x1200 (224 ppi) – this is a healthy upgrade from the previous 1280x800 display in its predecessor. But Amazon didn't stop there, it doubled the amount of RAM included (now 2GB), while the new 1.8GHz quad-core processor boosts performance of the tablet by 30 percent. Base storage has been doubled from 16GB to 32GB, and a 64GB SKU... Read more...
There may be a new 4K Apple TV launching tomorrow, but a carefully-timed leak from Amazon is looking to steal the show today. We don't know if this was planned "corporate leak" from Amazon itself, but there are two new Fire TV products that will be arriving shortly from Amazon. The first model features a dongle-style form-factor, which houses some potent hardware (at least for a media streamer). Its design makes it more similar in concept to the Google Chromecast than the Fire TV Stick, which has been the entry point to Amazon's streaming TV offerings. This particular model, which goes by the codename... Read more...
It turns out there is a very real downside to the many digital assistants that were designed to make our day-to-day lives easier. Researchers at Zhejiang University discovered it is possible to flex control over Siri, Alexa, and others using a technique called DolphinAttack. By translating voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies that are inaudible to the human ear, a hacker could instruct someone's smartphone or other device with a digital assistant to perform any number of tasks, such as visiting a malicious website. Apple and Amazon are the not the only companies affected by this. The vulnerability... Read more...
As has been rumored for some time now, Motorola decided to bring the Moto X back, and in somewhat of a big way. The fourth generation Moto X, known officially as the Moto X4, wields dual cameras on its backside, which was also tipped in previous rumors. It has a premium design that at a glance could pass as a flagship phone, and support for Amazon's Alexa AI assistant. "Hands tied up? At your busiest moments, Moto x4 has your back. Experience Amazon Alexa integrated right into moto X4—without having to unlock it first. Now, the benefits of Alexa go with you, even when you leave home. So if you... Read more...
Amazon and Microsoft have decided to work together in the AI voice assistant arena rather than erect barriers between one another. In a move that will ultimately benefit customers, Alexa and Cortana will be able to communicate with Cortana and vice versa. What that means is customers with Echo devices can say, "Alexa, open Cortana," while owners of Windows 10 devices can say, "Cortana, open Alexa." You do not always see this kind of cross-platform cooperation between companies. Case in point, we reported last week that Microsoft has left the ball in Sony's court in terms of cross-platform play... Read more...
If you have multiple Amazon Echo speakers in your household, a new feature has been enabled which will allow you to spread your favorite tunes to every room. The feature is called Alexa Multi-Room Music, and as its name implies, allows you to synchronize music playback with two or more Echo devices. To get started, you will first need to fire up the Amazon Alexa app and create a group that contains two or more Echo devices. So, if you have an Echo in the kitchen and one in the den, you can create a group called “Downstairs”, for example. Afterwards, you can simply say “Alexa, play Dave Matthews... Read more...
Microsoft is already dealing with the fallout from Consumer Reports’ decision to pull its recommendation of Surface PCs due to reliability issues, and now a former executive is spilling the beans on turmoil within the company’s Cortana team. Qi Lu, a leading AI researcher, headed up Microsoft’s applications and services unit before abandoning ship earlier this year to work at Chinese tech powerhouse Baidu. In a recent interview, Lu explains that Microsoft at first didn’t really take Amazon seriously, contending that Alexa technology was far behind what Cortana was capable of achieving. “Google... Read more...
You may know Anker for its line of mobile accessories that include car chargers, USB cables, portable batteries, Bluetooth speakers and dash cams. However, the company is increasingly getting into the consumer electronics space with its own brand of devices. The company sells robotic vacuums (similar in design to iRobot’s Roomba) via its Eufy (pronounced “You-Fee”) line, and now it is expanding with the arrival of the Eufy Genie smart speaker. Looking at the Genie, you can see that it clearly gets its inspiration from the Amazon Echo Dot. That is no mistake, as the Genie largely apes the functionality... Read more...
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines during this whole “AI smart speaker” revolution, then maybe now is the time to pull the trigger. Last month during its Prime Day sales extravaganza, Amazon was selling its original Echo for $89. Since that time, the price has skyrocketed back up to its original MSRP of $179.99. However, retailers like Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, P.C. Richard & Son, and ABT are now matching the Prime Day price of $89.99. This sale price only lasts for today, so here’s your last chance to score an Echo at its all-time low price. If the standard Echo is a little... Read more...
Bigger is better, right? When it comes to smartphones, larger screens have definitely won over the majority of consumers (save for the iPhone SE holdouts), but Facebook might be looking to go “big” in a completely different arena. A new report suggests that Facebook is working on a new smart speaker that will incorporate a display that will make the Amazon Echo Show’s 7-inch screen look puny in comparison. Facebook’s device would allegedly feature a massive 15-inch display, which makes us think that the actual “speaker” portion may be more of an afterthought. The device would incorporate touch... Read more...
HTC's flagship U11 smartphone offers a lot of perks, but if you're an Amazon Alexa fan, you could very well find yourself loving the device even more thanks to the AI's introduction. This isn't a mere Amazon app found on the device, but an officially supported implementation from HTC. Whereas on other non-Amazon Android devices, saying "Alexa" would yield no results, the situation is different on the HTC U11. Just as you can use your Amazon Echo to use Alexa, you can talk to your U11 to play music, hear the daily news, and of course, shop from Amazon's online store. There are caveats, though,... Read more...
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