Items tagged with Amazon

Amazon has done a good job of staying in the news for the past week (Echo Show, Element Fire TV Edition Smart TVs), and it is continuing its streak with the announcement of new Fire tablets. Although that tablet market as a whole is in decline, Amazon sees plenty of demand in the low-end of the segment, hence the arrival of the all-new Fire 7. The Fire 7 comes to the market with an improved 7-inch IPS display (1024x600) that features a higher contrast and crisper text reproduction. Battery life has been boosted to 8 hours (in mixed use scenarios), which is a 1-hour increase from its predecessor.... Read more...
Amazon wants to make sure that its digital assistant only springs to life when it is actually summoned, versus misinterpreting a word or phrase for "Alexa." To make that possible, Amazon in introducing a new feature called Cloud-Based Wake Word Verification. Just as it sounds, the new feature is intended to improve the accuracy of its wake word detection scheme to reduce or eliminate false wakes caused by similar sounding words. "With this update, the wake word engine (WWE) on the device handles the initial detection of 'Alexa', and then a secondary cloud-based check verifies the utterance. If... Read more...
Amazon has been in the news a lot recently, mainly for its popular Alexa AI that powers its Echo family of products. The company last week announced the Echo Show, which features a 7-inch display, and today the company has revealed a partnership with Element to produce 4K Smart TVs. Element isn’t a brand that you would normally associate with high-end picture quality or plentiful features — it’s a brand that you would typically find at retail stores like Walmart or Target with budget pricing. However, Amazon isn’t letting that “cheap” stigma get in the way of spreading Alexa AI magic to more people.... Read more...
Amazon's latest Alexa update is one that could prove extremely useful to those who want to keep in contact with friends and family through various Echo devices, coming to us in the form of Alexa Calling & Messaging. The premise is simple: you can use your Echo device to send and receive messages to anyone who also owns an Alexa device. While the feature appears to function quite well, there are some caveats and warnings that have popped up surrounding it. In a Medium post, Elise Oras says that Alexa Calling has a "major privacy" flaw, and after reading, you might just agree. For the sake of... Read more...
While the Apple TV has long been home to streaming video services like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, one company has been jarringly absent: Amazon. Amazon Prime Video, which is available as a separate $8.99/month service or packaged in with the $99 yearly cost of Amazon Prime, has been barred from the Apple TV due to disagreements between the two companies over “acceptable business terms.” That will all change next month, as it is being reported that Apple and Amazon have finally reached an agreement, allowing the Prime Video to arrive on the Apple TV platform. According to BuzzFeed, Apple will make... Read more...
Earlier this morning, Amazon surprised no one by announcing the Echo Show, a touchscreen-infused Echo device that was first leaked last week. One of the pivotal features of the Echo Show is the ability to make voice calls to friends and family members that also have an Echo Show, or those that use the Alexa app. However, new Echo Show owners aren’t the only ones that will be able to take advantage of hands-free voice calling using Alexa. Amazon has announced “Alexa Calling & Messaging”, which allows anyone with an Echo or Echo Dot to initiate calls or leave a voice message. In a world... Read more...
After a major leak last week, Amazon has officially taken the wraps off its latest AI smart speaker: the Echo Show. If you’re familiar with previous devices like the Echo, Echo Tap and Echo Dot, then you should know that the Echo Show has the same basic capabilities as its siblings. However, where the Echo Show advances the field is with its built-in 7-inch color touch screen. The touch screen makes the Echo Show a lot more functional than its predecessors, allowing it to display things like full weather forecasts, calendar information, and playback multimedia content like YouTube clip or Amazon... Read more...
Launching a successful technology product is sometimes all about timing. That was certainly the case when Amazon came out Echo two and a half years ago. The proliferation of increasingly affordable Internet of Things (IoT) products had started to bring smart home functionality into the mainstream, and with every modern smartphone wielding a digital assistant of some sort, Amazon figured (correctly) the market was ripe for a smart home speaker. Hence the Echo was born. Now going on three years later, Amazon is still dominating the smart speaker market. That is according to a new study, which pegs... Read more...
Back in early March, we were given an early glimpse at an upcoming Amazon camera courtesy of AFTVnews, which stumbled across a picture of the device sitting on Amazon’s servers. Two months later, that product was revealed to be the Echo Look camera. Today, a small image of what could be a touch-screen Amazon Echo device has emerged. Like the earlier Echo Look leak, the image of the device was found on Amazon’s servers, just waiting to be discovered. OK, maybe the image wasn't really all that small...  The new Echo device is reportedly codenamed “Knight” and will be revealed later this... Read more...
GE and Amazon are hoping to light up your life. The two companies just released more information about their Alexa-powered smart lamp, including a new name, release date, and price tag. Jeff Patton, General Manager of Connected Home Products for GE Lighting, remarked at the product's announcement six months ago that, “It’s really about simplifying and extending an experience for consumers, allowing them to add smart capabilities throughout the home through a really simple form factor Consumers don’t need a cell phone, a special switch or a hub. They just need their voice.” The unique lamp, originally... Read more...
Amazon just announced that it will be slowly shutting down its Underground Actually Free program. Official support for the program will end in 2019. The Amazon Underground app initially launched in 2015 and allowed developers to give away their software for free. Amazon then reimbursed the developers depending on how long users spent within the app. Many of the apps were listed as “actually free” and included everything from the initial download to in-app purchases. The program was regarded as a interesting way to test new ideas and expand Amazon’s limited app offerings. Although the... Read more...
Does your Echo or Echo Dot sound a little too robotic for your tastes when responding to queries? If that’s the case, then Amazon is working diligently to make your digital assistant AI mastermind sound a bit more “human” with regards to its speech patterns. Until now, Alexa’s female voice, while helpful in an increasing number of ways thanks to thousands of skills, is rather monotone and speaks at a steady cadence. However, Amazon is infusing Alexa with the ability to whisper and even change the pitch of her voice. The changes come as additions to Alexa’s Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML).... Read more...
Well, this didn’t turn out the way we expected. Back in early March, a single image of an upcoming product from Amazon made its way to the internet. Everyone simply assumed the it was a new security camera — at the time, it seemed like a rather educated guess — that would tie into Amazon’s Echo family of smart home AI speakers. Today, however, it has been revealed that we were only right on one front. The new Echo Look is indeed part of the Echo family as its name implies, but it is far from being a security camera. In fact, its primary purpose is to serve and a “hands-free camera and style assistant”.... Read more...
One of the best decisions Amazon ever made was creating a Prime membership program. Any argument otherwise is shattered by the numbers—according to data collected by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (just CIRP from here on out), there are now 80 million Amazon Prime members living in the United States. Not only is that remarkable figure, but they're outspending non-Prime members by almost a 2:1 ratio. CIRP figures that Prime members spend on average around $1,300 per year, compared to about $700 per year for non-member customers. That is a big disparity and it goes to show the value... Read more...
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