Items tagged with alexa

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...
Amazon's Alexa companion app for iOS and Android is the central hub for discovering, setting up, and controlling Alexa smart devices installed within your home. However, no one could credibly describe the app as being easy to use or that it made controlling those devices straightforward. This week, however, Amazon has unleashed an all-new Alexa app that greatly simplifies how you control your smart devices. There is now a dedicated Devices tab, which gives you quick and easy access to all of your smart devices. You'll see your accumulated device Groups right off the bat, which are presented by large, colorful cards. Each Group has its own on/off button and gives an overview of the devices controlled.... Read more...
It might be taking content developers a long time to flood the market with 4K movies and TV shows, but one thing is for sure, the hardware is in place on the consumer side. TVs with native 4K support are the new norm, and the transition is taking place on the peripheral side as well. Case in point, Amazon today announced a new version of its streaming Fire TV Stick that brings 4K resolution support into the fold. It doesn't stop there, either. Amazon's new Fire TV Stick 4K adds support for the two most popular high dynamic range (HDR) standards, those being Dolby Vision and HDR10+, to make those 4K Ultra HD visuals pop. Of course, you'll need a TV that also supports HDR, which are also starting... Read more...
When it comes to electronics, one way to stretch your dollar is to stay a generation behind. This can prove particularly savvy if you strike right when a new product is announced, as the 'old' one might not be all that old or outdated at that point. Following that philosophy, you can snag a 2nd generation Echo Dot smart speaker with Alexa integration for only $22.99 right now. There are a couple of caveats. One is that Amazon just announced a 3rd generation Echo Dot, which releases on October 11. You'll spend more than twice as much, however, as the asking price is $49.99 on Amazon's website. The other caveat is that the discounted 2nd generation Echo Dot is used. Deal site Woot (owned by Amazon)... Read more...
Amazon held a special event today to announce a new round of Alexa-powered products, and you've already seen a few of them leaked right here at HotHardware. Among the devices unveiled include the Echo Sub, which as we described this morning, is a 100W subwoofer. It can pair with up to two [same model] Echo devices to provide full 2.1 stereo audio. Pairing is accomplished using handy Alexa app for Android or iOS. The Echo Sub is priced at $129.99 is available for preorder today. Amazon Echo Sub Adding to the audio theme are the Echo Link ($199) and Echo Link Amp ($299). The Echo Link serves as the receiver, while the Echo Link Amp actually includes a 60-watt dual-channel... Read more...
Amazon is doing very well with its line of Alexa-powered Echo smart speakers. Earlier this week a rumor was making the rounds that suggested Amazon was set to significantly expand its Alexa offerings on the market with eight new devices including a microwave and an amplifier. A couple of those new Alexa devices have leaked with Amazon itself being the source. It appears someone hit the live button a bit too early and listings turned up for an Echo Sub and an Echo Plug on Amazon UK. Those listings have since disappeared, but Pocket-lint was able to grab images and details on what we can expect in the ever-expanding universe of gear. The Echo Sub is a powered subwoofer that is meant to pair with... Read more...
It seems like digital assistants are everywhere these days, but in reality, there are still many untapped products that they can jammed into. Just ask Amazon, the world's top e-commerce site, and the company behind Alexa. Amazon is apparently planning to unleash a barrage of new Alexa-enabled products, including a microwave. Yes, you read that right, a microwave! It's not really as silly as it sounds. Rather than punching the defrost button or guessing at how long you should nuke your two slices of pepperoni pizza, we imagine an Alexa-enabled microwave would allow you to say something like, "Hey Alexa, reheat this leftover meatloaf," or something that effect. In total, Amazon is said to be planning... Read more...
Streaming is increasingly becoming the way many people consume TV shows and movies today. One of the more budget-friendly, yet fully-featured streaming devices for folks who lack a smart TV that supports integrated streaming is the Amazon Fire TV Stick. That device is normally $39.99 making it decently affordable every day. Anyone that has been considering the purchase of a streaming device for their TV will want to check out the deal Amazon has going for Prime members. Amazon's Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is selling for $24.99 right now. That price is only good if you are a Prime subscriber. For those unfamiliar with the Fire TV Stick, this device allows you to stream content... Read more...
There is a new smart speaker in town. Huawei just unveiled its AI Cube, a smart speaker and 4G router with Amazon's Alexa onboard. The AI Cube is meant to provide “seamless connectivity” in smart homes. But don’t let the name fool you -- the Huawei AI Cube is a cylinder, not an actual cube. Its diameter measures 116mm, its height is 218mm, and the device weighs roughly 900 grams. Its measurements and design are similar to the Amazon Echo Plus. Image courtesy Android Central The Huawei AI Cube features 4 microphones, a 15-watt Mono Speaker, and Far Field Voice Recognition. Like other smart speakers on the market, users will be able to play music, control other smart devices... Read more...
Netgear has announced a new product called the Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and WiFi Mesh Satellite with Built-in Amazon Alexa. That is a very long name to describe a product that can play music for you and answer questions thanks to Amazon Alexa integration. The device is also a mesh hotspot to extend your WiFi network. Orbi Voice can work with any Orbi WiFi system to expand your wireless network around your entire home covering up to 4,500 square feet. Wireless speeds up to 3Gbps are supported. Harman Kardon premium sound is integrated for high-quality music to be played. Netgear says that this is a great way to get music into any room of your home and a smart speaker along with better wireless... Read more...
Saint Louis University (SLU) has announced that students will have another roommate living with them when they return to classes this month. SLU will place Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers into each room and apartment that is offered for student housing. Each of the Dots will be running a custom SLU skill that is designed to answer questions that are specific to the university. The idea is to help reduce the number of calls to school helplines and keep students aware of important aspects of campus life. That custom SLU skill, which was developed by n-Powered and is hosted on AWS, can give instant answers to more than 100 questions that new and returning students might have that are specific... Read more...
It's been a year in the making, but Microsoft and Amazon have finally announced a full public preview rollout of Alexa-Cortana integration -- at least for users in the United States. The two companies first announced the collaboration in August 2017, and gave a live on-stage demo of the pairing in action at BUILD 2018. In practice, Alexa and Cortana will first have to be enabled as a skill on each competing platform. For example, the Cortana skill will have to be installed on an Amazon Echo, while the Alexa skill will have to be installed on a Windows 10 PC. From there, you have to do a small amount of verbal gymnastics to access the respective AI assistant platforms. On a... Read more...
Amazon is on a mission to rule the e-commerce world, and several of its products and services play into that goal. That includes Alexa, the digital assistant found in a range of Echo smart speakers. The question is, how many are using Alexa to order items online? Leaked data suggests it might be less than you think. Citing a pair of people who have been briefed on Amazon's internal figures, The Information reports that only around 2 percent of people who own Alexa-powered devices have made purchases using their voices so far this year. It is a surprisingly low engagement rate, though Amazon did sell in the neighborhood of 50 million Alexa devices. "Clearly, voice shopping is not yet in the stage... Read more...
I had an aunt who used to have her living room lights plugged into a timer, so they turn on and serve as a deterrent to potential burglars. That is how it was done 'back in the day'. What about today? There are fancier methods, and one of them involves Amazon's Echo smart speaker with Alexa. There is a new skill available that could keep would-be thieves away. The skill is called Away Mode and it works by playing lengthy audio clips that sound like people are having a conversation inside. It was created by Hippo Insurance, an insurance outfit located in San Francisco, California. At present, Away Mode contains about a dozen conversations. The varied mix of topics include everything from a couple... Read more...
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