Items tagged with alexa

Valentine's Day is almost here, and if your sweetheart would rather have tech than candy or flowers, Amazon has your back. The retail giant is running some deals on its line of Echo devices, with the second-generation Echo smart speaker in multiple colors on sale right now for $69.99, a $30 discount off the normal list price. You can get it in charcoal, heather gray, or sandstone colors all for the same price.  If you want the fancier walnut finish version, you will pay a bit more with that unit going for $89.99. If you are looking to step up to an Echo Sub bundle, you can get a pair of the oak finish Echo smart speakers along with the Echo Sub for $279.97, which is a $90 discount. As of... Read more...
In mid-December at the height of the Christmas shopping season, Amazon launched a new product that looked rather interesting. The product was the Echo Wall Clock, which featured a minimalist design and connected to Alexa to show various timers that you set on its analog face using LEDs. It was also reasonably priced, ringing in at $30. Amazon has given no indication of how popular the Echo Wall clock is, but reports have surfaced that owners have been complaining about connectivity issues with the clock. The complaints were enough that Amazon has stopped selling the clock for now. Amazon told The Verge that it was aware that a small number of owners were having issues with connectivity.... Read more...
At CES 2019, Qualcomm is showing off some of its in-vehicle prowess with the unveiling of multi-tiered third-generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit platforms that include Performance, Premiere, and Paramount classes. Those classes represent entry-level, mid-tier, and supercomputing platforms respectively. Qualcomm says that its new platform is designed with a modular architecture to let automakers customize options for their buyers. The new Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms are the first-announced scalable AI-based platforms claims Qualcomm, and it notes that the platform is designed to "transform in-vehicle experiences." Those experiences will include in-car virtual assistance, natural... Read more...
There is a war raging right now in the voice assistant realm with Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft fighting to have the smartest and most popular voice assistants. A recent study named Google Assistant the most intelligent of the current crop of voice assistants, and they often show up in many places including TVs, PCs, smart watches, and speakers. It's rare for manufacturers of these devices to give up hard numbers on how many devices have sold, but Amazon has stepped up and done just that for Alexa devices. Amazon SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, has said that over 100 million devices with Alexa on board have been sold. That all-inclusive number certainly sheds no light on sales... Read more...
Christmas has come and gone, but there's a good chance that many Americans received some form of Amazon Echo device under the tree. With so many new Echo owners joining the fray for the first time, they are inevitably heading to the iOS App Store to download the companion app so that they can get started with the setup process on their iPhone. However, an unofficial app has somehow made it near the top of the charts in the App Store, and it is by no means harmless. The app is called "Setup for Amazon Alexa" and was first spotted by 9to5Mac earlier this morning. As of this writing, the app is still available as a free download and is currently trending at #6 under the Utilities section... Read more...
Loup Ventures has published the results of its Annual Smart Speaker IQ test where it took the four major Smart Speakers on the market that are packed with Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana and put them through a round of tests. The test asked each of the four smart speakers 800 questions to see which of the devices was able to answer the most questions and then ranked the devices based on the percentage of understood queries, and the number of questions answered correctly. The results put Google Assistant at the top of the class. Google Assistant understood 100% of the aksed queries and was able to answer 87.9% of the questions correctly. Siri came in second place understanding 99.6%... Read more...
Many consumers have voiced concerns over privacy and the potential for unwanted eavesdropping with digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, or the Google Assistant. It turns out, that for one Amazon Alexa user in Germany – and let’s be honest, likely many more – those concerns are completely justified. According to story revealed by c’t (a Heise publication out of Germany), 1,700 unwanted audio recordings, search history, and an array of other telemetry stored by Alexa, were sent to another, unrelated Amazon customer that had requested a copy of his personal data citing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) act. When... Read more...
Amazon is intent on getting Alexa into just about every object in your home. While the voice assistant started embedded in smart speakers, it has since expanded into devices that are suited to the kitchen like microwaves and now wall clocks. Amazon has announced the availability of the Echo Wall Clock, and this device isn't what you think it is at first glance. Alexa isn't actually embedded into the clock; it requires a compatible Echo device to operate. People who cook frequently in the kitchen and need lots of timers will probably be interested in the Echo Wall Clock. The device can show a single timer or multiple timers on its face. The timers can be for anything from cookies in the oven to... Read more...
All that is old is new again. Big Mouth Billy Bass, an animatronic largemouth bass, is now compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. The late 1990’s classic singing animatronic can mow be paired with any Alexa-enabled device. According to Steve Harris, vice president of product development at Gemmy Industries, “This is not your father’s Big Mouth Billy Bass.” Big Mouth Billy Bass is now programmed to respond to Alexa voice commands and lip sync with Alexa’s responses. He will answer questions about the weather, the news, and other inquiries, react to notifications and alarms, and dance to music. Big Mouth Billy Bass will also sing his original song “Fishin’... Read more...
Are you a big Jimmy Fallon fan? Well, now his jokes can follow you throughout your home. In a new collaboration with Amazon, Jimmy Fallon will provide a stream of corny jokes for Amazon Alexa-enabled Echo and other devices. If you ask Alexa to “tell me a joke”, she will introduce you to her “friend Jimmy”. Fallon announced on his show, “For the first time ever, [Amazon is] using a voice other than Alexa’s to tell you a joke—and that voice is me.” Fallon worked alongside Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon writers to develop exclusive content for the collaboration. Many of the jokes are holiday-themed. For example, “What does a turkey say after... Read more...
Microsoft hasn't exactly had smooth sailing with regards to its most recent major update for Windows 10. The company launched the October 2018 Update early last month, which was fraught with problems including a file deletion bug. Microsoft quickly pulled the update and has yet to release a replacement. Despite this setback, Microsoft is continuing to work in parallel on the next major release of Windows 10 Build 19H1 (which stands for 2019, First Half). Microsoft has just fed a build to testers on this track: Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18277. This latest release brings with it a number of small changes, with one of the most important one being improvements... Read more...
When it comes to Amazon's Fire TV family of media streamers, the Fire TV Cube is the flagship of the family. However, it also comes with a price tag of $119.99. Today, however, HSN is selling the Fire TV Cube for a much more enticing $59.99, which is half off its normal selling price. That's also only $10 more than the brand-new Fire TV Stick 4K, which is far less capable.  Besides including Alexa functionality for controlling your smart home devices, it is also capable of controlling your A/V equipment (i.e. receivers, sound bars and cable/satellite boxes) with just your voice. Amazon also includes an Ethernet adapter and an IR extender in the box. About the only... Read more...
This past summer Amazon rolled out its slick and boxy little Fire TV Cube; the device was notable because it combined Fire TV streaming with the Alexa digital voice assistant. Amazon is now expanding the capabilities of that device with Alexa now being able to navigate around inside apps allowing owners to use their voice to do things like select Netflix profiles, move up and down or move left or right inside menus, and to select items. You may never need to pick up the remote again; anyone who tends to lose remote controls frequently will appreciate this option. The feature has been rolling out over the last few weeks, and that rollout happened without fanfare. Amazon says all Fire TV Cubes... Read more...
Although they are being announced a little later than previously thought, Facebook has announced new hardware products that we first told you about last month. The company is debuting two smart displays dubbed Portal and Portal+, which are similar to devices currently on the market like the Amazon Echo Show and the Lenovo Smart Display. The Portal, which will retail for $199, has a 10.1-inch display (1280x800) with an integrated speaker in its base. The Portal+, however, has a ginormous 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080 and will retail for $349. Whereas the Portal has a fixed display in a landscape orientation, the Portal+ has a display that can rotate... Read more...
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