Items tagged with alexa

Amazon seems to have struck gold with its Echo products, capitalizing on the trend towards digital assistants that became popular in smartphones. In similar fashion, smart speakers offer a level of intelligent convenience—just bark out a command and Alexa (if you're using an Echo speaker) will fetch weather information, look up facts on the web, and even order a pizza, among many, many other tricks. But this level of functionality requires that smart speakers constantly listen to their surroundings, leading some to wonder if consumers are giving up too much privacy. There is an article at... Read more...
Activision and Bungie have teamed up with Amazon to offer Destiny 2 players a new level of immersion, though not through virtual reality. Using a new Destiny 2 Ghost skill for Alexa, Amazon's AI-powered assistant, Destiny 2 gamers can bark out commands and verbally ask for tips from Ghost, the in-game AI companion. This new skill represents the first-ever Alexa voice integration in a live game experience. Using the new skill, players can say things like, "Alexa, ask Ghost to..." followed by a variety of questions and commands. Players can ask Ghost which friends are online, advice on what to do... Read more...
If you were hoping to get a HomePod smart speaker to round out the Apple hardware ecosystem in your home in time for Christmas, you will have to wait a bit longer. Apple originally unveiled HomePod way back in June at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and said that it would ship in December. However, Apple today confirmed that HomePod will miss the holiday shopping rush. “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers," said Apple in a statement to TechCrunch. "We’ll... Read more...
Amazon seems to have struck gold with its push into smart speaker territory. The company's digital assistant, dubbed Alexa, is every bit as recognizable as Siri, and Amazon's been able to monetize its AI assistant across a growing line of products. Now third-party developers will get their chance. Amazon is introducing paid subscriptions for Alexa skills, allowing developers to charge a fee for advanced app features. This also allows Amazon to add another perk to its Prime membership—Prime members do not have to pony up a fee to unlock premium skills. To kick things off, Sony's Jeopardy! app includes... Read more...
Motorola has made modular smartphones "hip" thanks to its Moto Z family. The original Moto Z, along with its Moto Z2 Force successor, supports Motorola's Moto Mods systems, which allows you to attach various accessories to the back of your smartphone ranging from speakers to cameras to battery extenders. Today Motorola has announced a new addition: the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa. Rather than integrating Amazon Alexa directly into the smartphone hardware and the Android operating system, the Moto Smart Speaker is its own self-contained device. Think of it as a miniature Amazon Echo that... Read more...
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...
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