Items tagged with amazon echo

Alphabet is one of the largest and most valuable companies on the planet, and at least one Morgan Stanley analyst is suggesting that the company use its cash pile to gain the upper hand in a growing market sector. In this case, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak says that Alphabet subsidiary Google should give away millions of its Home Mini AI smart speakers.  In fact, he suggests that Google should give away one Home Mini for each American household in order to gain a leg-up on market leader Amazon. Amazon has just over a 60 percent share of the smart speaker market in the United States,... Read more...
Amazon has finally gone official with a product that we've seen teased for quite a while. The all-new Fire TV Cube represents a new form-factor that combines functionality from several products in the Amazon catalog including the Fire TV and the popular Echo digital AI assistant. On the Fire TV side of things, it has all the capabilities you would expect from a modern streamer including 4K Ultra HD (HDR-10) support and app support for all of your favorite streaming services including Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, etc. Since its powered by FireOS, you can also install thousands... Read more...
Amazon and Google are massive tech giants, for vastly different reasons. Google is the leading search engine provider, a smartphone platform juggernaut, and huge advertising machine, while Amazon is the largest e-tailer in the world and a cloud services powerhouse, though Google is coming up strong. Though they are different animals, these two companies find themselves locked in heated battle with their respective Google Home and Amazon Echo devices; a battle for AI dominance that could determine who will ultimately control a good chunk of the Smart Home market. The Smart Home market has massive... Read more...
It looks as though Google is turning the corner with regards to its positioning in the growing AI smart speaker market. Ever since Google Home was first introduced in late 2016, it has played second fiddle to the dominant Amazon Echo family (which originally launched in late 2014). However, new sales numbers coming in this week from Canalys claim that Google Home sales have surpassed the Amazon Echo for the first time. Canalys' numbers are for Q1 2018, during which Google reportedly shipped 3.2 million Google Home devices. Amazon, on the other hand, sold 2.5 million Echo devices during the same... Read more...
Amazon Alexa has grown to become an invaluable resource in millions of American households since its introduction in late 2014, with the company's Echo family of smart AI speakers taking the lead. Amazon has added numerous features to the speakers over the years, with the most recent being "Announcements". The feature turns your gaggle of Echo devices spread throughout your home into an intercom -- albeit a one-way system. You are able to quickly get an audio message out to everyone in the household (or at those within earshot of an Echo speaker) by saying "Alexa, broadcast" or "Alexa, announce"... Read more...
We all know that asking an Amazon Echo speaker powered by Alexa to play a specific artist or song is possible (among other things). Amazon has been adding some new music controls to Alexa devices that make it easier to play songs when you don't know the artist or song title. These new playback commands are perfect for users who listen to a lot of music without knowing what they are really listening to. You now have the ability to ask for music to be played based on the last time you used Alexa for tunes. Amazon says that you can now ask Alexa to "play me a Hold Steady song I heard last month" or... Read more...
After being temporarily knocked offline last week due to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage, Amazon is dealing with another Alexa incident. While losing access to Alexa Voice Services for a few hours is annoying, what is currently happening to Amazon Echo users (and other devices that take advantage of Alexa) was downright puzzling and to some people, a little freaky. Amazon Echo devices have reportedly been laughing for absolutely no particular reason at all, which as you can imagine is unsettling to unsuspecting ears. This isn't a fluke that was relegated to just one person. Multiple people... Read more...
We sense a great disturbance in the [Alexa] force. Unfortunately for Amazon, Alexa voice services are down for a growing number of Echo users across the United States. Quite comically, Amazon's Super Bowl commercial revolved around the premise that Alexa had lost its voice, forcing stand-ins like Gordon Ramsey and Sir Anthony Hopkins to take over her duties. In this case, however, simply querying Alexa results in Echo devices displaying a red LED light ring, after which she responds, "Sorry, I'm have a little trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later." This was the response I heard... Read more...
The jailbreaking community is alive and well, and people frequently install "unauthorized" software on their smartphones and tablets once they’ve cracked the bootloader. This practice is often frowned upon by device OEMs (especially Apple), but it is legal to do so under an exemption in Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), however, wants to extend the exemption to include another hot segment in the consumer electronics market: smart AI speakers. That would means that owners of devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and... Read more...
Amazon has a history of releasing some rather hilarious Super Bowl commercials, and this year is no different. Amazon’s Alexa AI voice assistant is at the forefront of this year's commercial, and in this case, the digital voice assistant seems to have lost her voice. Amazon's energetic CEO, Jeff Bezos, is visibly concerned about losing one of his most famous stars and inquires if any potential voice actors have been lined up as a replacement. After a half-hearted confirmation that Amazon has a rather deep bench of voice talent, the commercial starts cranking up the laughs. We won't give away... Read more...
The smart speaker market is booming with estimates pegging usage in America at about 39 million users combined for the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Amazon is the leader in the segment and the company has announced that its Alexa voice assistant that is embedded in the Echo devices now has gained ability for the device to send text messages to other users. Previously Echo could send a text-based message to a user, but the sender and the receiver both needed to be running the Alexa app and have an Echo device. The new SMS feature will only work on Android smartphones and is only available... Read more...
New research has come out that looks at the number of Americans that own a smart speaker along the lines of the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices. The research came from NPR and Edison Research, and found that 16% of Americans own a smart speaker, putting the figure at around 39 million people. That the figure is up 128% from January 2017, and the leading product in the segment is the Amazon Echo family. According to the numbers in the report, 11% of Americans own an Amazon smart speaker, with 4% owning a Google Home device. The number of people who received a new smart spaker during... Read more...
We first got a glimpse at the BlueBorne vulnerability back in September, when it was revealed that that Bluetooth-based attack vector was exploitable on phones, computers, and IoT devices -- basically, anything with a Bluetooth radio. BlueBorne was especially nasty since it is capable of man-in-the-middle attacks and remote code execution. It was initially revealed that both Windows- and iOS-based devices had been updated to defend against BlueBorne, while Android device manufacturers should have already delivered updates to address the exploit. However, we're now learning about another category... 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...
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