Items tagged with alexa

The Echo Dot has always been one of our favorite smart speakers, as it is a relatively affordable entry point for Amazon's Alexa ecosystem. The current third-generation Echo Dot has an MSRP pf $49.99 and regularly goes on sale for $29.99 (or $19.99 during Black Friday promotions). However, Amazon's latest deal on the Echo Dot will have you paying much, much less. The online retail giant is currently selling the Echo Dot in a bundle, that will see you paying just 99 cents for the smart speaker. There's a catch, however; the bundle includes one month of Amazon Music Unlimited at a cost of $7.99. That takes the total price of the bundle to a still smoking hot $8.98 with free... Read more...
Smart speaker owners beware—attackers have found a clever way of exploiting devices offered by Amazon and Google to both listen in on your conversations and dupe you into forking over private information, such as your account password, credit card details, and other details that should be kept close to the vest. What makes this possible are flaws that allow third-party app developers to leverage Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices in malicious ways. This is not an entirely new scheme, but while Amazon and Google have patched similar security flaws in the past, new ones keep popping up. Security Research Labs (SRLabs) notes that one such vulnerability consists of adding a long audio pause... Read more...
They were rumored earlier this week, but now we have confirmation of the Echo Buds from Amazon. These are the company's wireless earbuds in the same vein as the Apple AirPods and the Samsung Galaxy Buds, however, they incorporate noise-canceling technology (something that we can't say for the AirPods) thanks to Bose Active Noise Reduction technology. Amazon says that the Echo Buds promise true, hands-free access to Alexa while at the same time delivering premium sound. Each earbud is equipped with dual "balanced" armature drivers to "deliver crisp, clear vocals, and dynamic bass". For those that want to let some ambient noise in to stay more attuned to your surroundings (i.e. running in... Read more...
Amazon today announced a slew of new Alexa-powered devices, including new members of the Echo family. The first of which is the new Echo Dot with Clock, which as its name implies, features an LED clock integrated in the front (peeking from behind the fabric). With respect to design, it looks nearly identical to last year's third-generation Echo Dot. The LEDs can also be used to display timers or even the outside temperature upon request. The new Echo Dot with Clock can double as an alarm clock, and will invoke a 9-minute snooze feature if you tap the top of the device. Amazon is pricing the new entry at $59.99 (available for pre-order today), and last year's Echo Dot will stick around at a lower... Read more...
Do not fret about that voice you are hearing in your head, it is just Alexa, the helpful digital assistant that dutifully works for Amazon. Oh, what's that, there aren't any voices in your head? Well then, give it time and perhaps there soon will be—Amazon is apparently working on a set of wireless earbuds with Alexa built into them. Wireless earbuds with smart functionality built into them are growing in popularity thanks in large part to efforts by Apple (AirPods) and Samsung (Galaxy Buds). Not to be outdone, Amazon will throw its hat into the ring, despite not offering its own brand smartphone. According to CNBC, the wireless earbuds are codenamed Puget. They will come with an integrated... Read more...
If you've embraced the smart home revolution, chances are that you might have an Amazon Echo or Google Home speaker along with a handful of smart plugs to control your "non smart" devices. Well, Amazon is currently running a promotion that will allow you to get its own branded Smart Plug for just $5. The Amazon Smart Plug typically retails for $24.99, but applying the promo code "AMZNPLUG" (without the quotes) will knock $20 off price, bringing it down to just $4.99. No hub is required for the Smart Plug, which means that you technically don't need an Echo device for it to function. You can simply set it up with the Amazon Alexa and app and immediately start running routines with it... Read more...
The global smart speaker market is large and growing as more embrace the idea of interacting with a digital assistant by voice. As the global smart speaker market heats up, manufacturers are vying to be the top name in the segment. The two top companies had been Amazon and Google, but a major change has taken place near the top with one company coming up fast, and that company is Baidu. Baidu is a search engine that has been dominating the Chinese market for years. It has surpassed Google in the global smart speaker market taking 17.3% the market with 4.5 million smart speakers shipped during the second quarter of 2019. The growth rate for Baidu was massive, with a recent Canalys report pegging... Read more...
Voice assistants can be great for looking up the weather, playing music, and answering inquiries. However, consumers should use caution before asking their voice assistant to call a business or customer service line. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently reported that voice assistants are accidentally dialing scammer phone numbers. According to the BBB, several consumers have recently used voice search to dial the numbers of customer service lines, but were taken instead to scammers. For example, one consumer asked their voice assistant to dial an airline’s customer service phone number. The scammer attempted to convince the consumer to purchase $400 in prepaid gift cards. Why are consumers... Read more...
Amazon is getting ahead of the game with its Alexa-powered line of smart speakers and devices. The company has announced that it will allow users to opt-out of having a human review users’ voice recordings. The move comes after recent complaints of violations of privacy with contractors listening to some recordings made by devices powered by digital assistants. Amazon's new policy went into effect on Friday, and it adds a setting in the menu of the Alexa smartphone app that allows the user to remove their voice recordings from a pool that could potentially be reviewed by Amazon employees and contractors. Amazon isn't first to do this, Google has offered a way to prevent voice recordings... Read more...
Microsoft is baking in tighter integration between Windows 10 and third-party digital assistants such as Alexa, the helpful AI that is found in many of Amazon's products (such as its Echo speaker line). The latest test build of Windows 10 19H2 (18362.10005) features a change to enable digital assistants like Alexa to be voice activated from the Lock screen. This test build is available to Windows Insiders who are subscribed to the Slow ring. These typically entail more polished builds than the ones that first show up in the Fast ring, and features they contain are more likely to end up in the final release that gets doled out to the public. In this case, the final release is the next major upgrade... Read more...
Sure, you can summon Alexa to order a pizza, but if you want a beer, you will have to get up and march your backside to the refrigerator, and get it yourself. Might that change one day? Who knows, but perhaps things are trending in that direction. There is talk of Amazon developing an Alexa-enabled robot that could follow users around the home, like a puppy (but without the pee puddles in its wake). It is called Vesta, and is it is supposedly one of the things being developed by Amazon's Lab126 research and development division located in Sunnyvale, California. Whether Vesta actually sees the light of day or not remains to be seen, but at the very least, the robot is something Amazon is pouring... Read more...
Is the 2.5-inch display on the Echo Spot too small, while the 10-inch Echo Show is too big for your Alexa smart speaker needs? Well, Amazon think that is has a perfect solution with the aptly named Echo Show 5, which has a 5.5-inch display. The Echo Show 5 is roughly half the size of its Echo Show counterpart and even includes a front-facing camera with a built-in shutter for those that are concerned about privacy. Amazon sees the Echo Show 5 as being a device that you would want to place on your desk or a nightstand to quickly consume information or watch a brief video. Given its larger screen and more robust speaker system, it would probably be advisable to go with the 10-inch Echo Show to... Read more...
Amazon has made a big announcement with regards to its Alexa Voice Service (AVS), which is used on all Alexa-compatible devices. Previously, the Alexa Announcements feature of AVS was only available to Amazon-branded devices, like the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show. However, Amazon announced this week that all Alexa-capable devices will now support the feature, which in effect works like a one-way intercom system. For instance, if you're downstairs in the kitchen and you have Alexa devices spread throughout all the bedrooms and shared spaces within the house, you could say "Alexa, tell everyone that dinner is ready", and your message will be broadcast through all of the devices within... Read more...
Last December, Amazon rolled out a new wall clock that had some cool connectivity options with its voice assistant smart speakers. One of the things that people who cook like to do with Alexa devices is to set timers for the various dishes they are preparing. Since most Alexa speakers have no screen, it's hard to tell how much time is left on those timers. The Echo Wall Clock fixes that by showing the timer on the face of the clock. When it launched the Echo Wall Clock was $29.99. For the first time, the Echo Wall Clock is on sale with a 17% discount bringing the cost of the Echo Wall Clock down to $24.99. That's not a huge discount, but considering how cheap the clock was to start with, and... Read more...
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