Items tagged with echo

Amazon is the dominant player in the growing U.S. smart speaker market. A new report claims that Amazon will continue to be the dominant brand in the smart speaker market through 2021 with 70% of the total market in the States. The report shows that in 2020 69.7% of U.S. smart speaker users will use an Amazon Echo device, which is down a bit from the 2019 total of 72.9% of the market. Google is in a distant second place with its smart speakers owning 31.7% of the market. The other brands in the segment claim a combined 18.4%. That other segment includes the Apple HomePod, Harmon Kardon Invoke, and Sonos One devices. The percentages add up to greater than 100% of the market because some households... Read more...
If you are looking to fill your home with Alexa-powered smart speakers on the cheap, Woot has a deal going on first-gen Amazon Echo devices. The first-gen Echo devices can play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more. The device, of course, responds to spoken commands. It also supports Alexa calling and supports immersive 360-degree sound. Multiple Echo speakers in the same home can play music across the home with multi-room support. Integrated far-field mics can hear your voice even if music is playing. Like current-generation Alexa devices, the first-gen Echo unit can control lights, fans, TVs, thermostats, and lots more when compatible devices are connected.... Read more...
There's no question that Amazon is the dominate player in the smart speaker realm, and that is even more readily apparent by the latest sales data coming from Canalys. The analytics firm monitored smart speaker shipments during Q3 2019 and found that the market exploded by 44.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year. At the top of the heap, as usual, was Amazon with 10.4 million Echo smart speakers shipped during the quarter. This represents a 65.9 percent annual growth rate for Amazon, giving it an overall 36.6 percent share of the smart speaker market. Canalys attributes much of Amazon's strength during the quarter to the release of the affordable, display-equipped Echo Show 5. The... Read more...
It's bad enough we have to worry about sharks with frickin' laser beams attached, but now we have to be vigilant against the threat lasers present to smart home speakers and other devices with digital assistants. How so? Security researchers at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo and at the University of Michigan warn that relatively cheap laser points can be modded to inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice assistants. This method of hacking affects all of the popular voice assistants, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Facebook Portal. "The implications of injecting unauthorized voice commands vary in severity based on the type of commands that... Read more...
Amazon today announced a slew of new Alexa-powered devices, including new members of the Echo family. The first of which is the new Echo Dot with Clock, which as its name implies, features an LED clock integrated in the front (peeking from behind the fabric). With respect to design, it looks nearly identical to last year's third-generation Echo Dot. The LEDs can also be used to display timers or even the outside temperature upon request. The new Echo Dot with Clock can double as an alarm clock, and will invoke a 9-minute snooze feature if you tap the top of the device. Amazon is pricing the new entry at $59.99 (available for pre-order today), and last year's Echo Dot will stick around at a lower... Read more...
Amazon is inviting certain members of the press to an upcoming major hardware event scheduled for September 25, where the company will undoubtedly reveal new products. So if you are eyeballing a home-grown hardware device that has not been updated in a bit, you may want to hold off to see what Amazon has in store. There is not much information to go on, other than the date and what type of event will be taking place. For example, Amazon did not mention exactly what product launches are in store. However, around this same time a year ago, Amazon introduced a bunch of new hardware products, including a revamped Echo Dot, second-generation Echo Show, Fire TV Recast, and several other items. Amazon... Read more...
Sure, you can summon Alexa to order a pizza, but if you want a beer, you will have to get up and march your backside to the refrigerator, and get it yourself. Might that change one day? Who knows, but perhaps things are trending in that direction. There is talk of Amazon developing an Alexa-enabled robot that could follow users around the home, like a puppy (but without the pee puddles in its wake). It is called Vesta, and is it is supposedly one of the things being developed by Amazon's Lab126 research and development division located in Sunnyvale, California. Whether Vesta actually sees the light of day or not remains to be seen, but at the very least, the robot is something Amazon is pouring... Read more...
Amazon has made a big announcement with regards to its Alexa Voice Service (AVS), which is used on all Alexa-compatible devices. Previously, the Alexa Announcements feature of AVS was only available to Amazon-branded devices, like the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show. However, Amazon announced this week that all Alexa-capable devices will now support the feature, which in effect works like a one-way intercom system. For instance, if you're downstairs in the kitchen and you have Alexa devices spread throughout all the bedrooms and shared spaces within the house, you could say "Alexa, tell everyone that dinner is ready", and your message will be broadcast through all of the devices within... Read more...
Roku has just announced a new enhancement for owners of Roku streaming devices and Roku TVs. Thanks to a new Amazon Alexa skill that is now available, you will be able to use any Alexa-enabled device to control your Roku hardware. While customers that have Roku Voice Remotes can already bark voice commands, this new Alexa tie-in opens up voice control to a broader Roku audience. In order to enable this newfound Alexa functionality, your Roku devices will need to be updated to Roku OS 8.1 or higher and you will also need to enable the new Roku skill. Amazon’s entire family of Echo devices are supported including the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot and display-equipped Echo Show. Once enabled,... Read more...
Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are growing rapidly in popularity -- especially in the United States -- as more people are using them for everyday inquiries ranging from turning on/off lights, starting complicated smart routines, to getting traffic and weather updates, to playing back some upbeat tunes while you're cooking dinner. But while these devices are incredibly handy when it comes to answering questions or performing tasks, many people are concerned about the privacy risk that they present. In order to give consumers better privacy protections, California Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) has introduced a bill entitled "The Future of Eavesdropping... Read more...
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...
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...
Apple and Amazon sure seem to be getting cozy with one another these days. Earlier this month, Amazon started allowing sales of iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products directly and via authorized sellers in the Amazon Marketplace, ending a long-standing feud between the two. In true 'scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' fashion, Apple now plans to bring its streaming music service to Amazon's Echo smart speakers. It's a logical match, given the popularity of Apple Music and Amazon's line of Alexa-enabled Echo products. Despite what should have always been a logical pairing, Apple and Amazon had not worked together previously to make the collaboration happen—sure, a user could always... 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...
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