Microsoft has announced that Skype is coming to a range of Alexa devices.
At its hardware event yesterday, Amazon revealed the updated Echo Show with integrated Skype, but later this year voice-activated Skype calling will be landing on other Alexa devices. The feature will make it possible to place and receive Skype voice calls, video calls and SkypeOut calls.
It also announced updates to its Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Show products, with improved audio and the nicer, fabric look Amazon introduced to the Echo last year.
At its surprise event today, Amazon revealed a new smart plug which lets you control home appliances with Alexa.
It doesn’t actually come with an Echo -- or microphones -- built in, but that’s to be expected given it will sell for just $25 (which is pretty much on par with other similar products).
Amazon hosted a surprise event today in Seattle where it took the wraps of a whole raft of Echo products.
One of the weirdest devices it revealed is an Alexa-powered microwave with a built-in Dash button that will allow you to order popcorn should you run out -- prefect for movie night!
Amazon updates its own hardware products on a regular basis, often with little fanfare. There are no major press events, or hyped launches. Today, the retail giant announces another product update that likely won’t thrill the world, but will prove to be another big earner for the company.
The new Amazon Fire HD 8 with Alexa Hands-Free is what you’d guess from the name. An 8-inch HD Fire tablet with added, always ready, Alexa support.
Owning a home is not in a walk in the park. Actually, being a homeowner can be downright daunting. Why? Well, things constantly break and need either fixing or replacing. Not to mention, there is normal upkeep, such as mowing the lawn, gardening, and for some folks, shoveling snow too.
This is why I am such a fan of the smart home. Anything I can do to get a little help is appreciated. Things like smart lights and thermostats not only make my life easier, but they can save me money too. Recently, I have been testing the 3rd generation smart sprinkler controller from Rachio and I came away with a very definitive opinion of it.
Amazon Echo devices are very convenient for listening to music. Not only can you use your voice to play, say, Spotify or Pandora, but SiriusXM too. Unfortunately, the Echo devices aren't exactly audiophile products. While the normal Echo is passable, the Dot is downright terrible for audio quality -- this is probably why Amazon suggests connecting it to an external speaker.
But what if convenience isn't enough? What if you want to use Alexa and also have superior audio quality? Today, a company named Cavalier Audio launches a premium portable Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker with Amazon Alexa support that aims to solve that dilemma. The "Maverick," as it is called, promises better audio quality compared to Echo, but also, it is comprised of premium build materials, such as leather.
While summer has only just started, it is already time to start thinking about Back-to-School shopping. Yeah, sorry to bum you out, students. But hey, you don't want to return to school or university without a capable laptop, do you? Come on, isn't it fun convincing your parents you need a new computer for "studying and research?"
If you are looking for a good deal on a laptop, whether for school or any other purpose, Acer has a pretty sweet deal going on Amazon. All of its computers with integrated Alexa are $50 off. In addition, you will receive a free Echo Dot. How cool is that? Best of all, this offer is immediate -- you do not have to wait for Prime Day!
Voice search has become increasingly popular in the last few years and figures from Seotribunal show that around half of teens and 41 percent of adults are using it in their day-to-day activities.
That number is still rising too with 1.8 million people expected to be using voice search daily by 2021. Seotribunal has put together an infographic showing how the technology is being used and more.
Not content with infiltrating people's homes with its range of Echo devices, Amazon is now looking to elbow its way into hotels with Alexa for Hospitality. Amazon has struck a deal with Marriott International that will see the introduction of Echo devices into rooms.
Guests can use these to play music, contact reception and get information about the hotel -- and both Amazon and guests alike will be hoping there won't be a repeat of the recent privacy slip up that resulted in an Echo recording and sharing someone's conversations.
Rumors are swirling that it won’t be long before people could talk to their smart speakers to control aspects of their Xbox One systems. Details are scarce, but here’s what’s known so far.
Microsoft formerly offered voice control functionality for Xbox players through its Kinect accessory. But, once the company discontinued it in 2017, and then quit making Xbox One adapters for the Kinect shortly afterward, gamers became more limited. The Xbox One does have Cortana, but the availability of features that work with Alexa and the Google Assistant could help players do even more with their systems.
It was only a matter of time before Amazon properly combined two of its biggest home grown product lines -- Fire TV and Amazon Echo -- and today we get to see what the end result looks like.
Amazon Fire TV Cube is a hands-free 4K Ultra HD streaming media player with Alexa built in, allowing you to control your TV from across the room. You can use your voice to play, pause, and resume content, but that’s not all.
There was concern recently when a couple of Alexa users found that the smart assistant built into their Amazon Echo had not only recorded a conversation they had been having, but had sent it to an acquaintance.
Since this story broke, it is entirely understandable that other people who have Alexa listening in the background are worried that something similar could happen to them. If you want to check whether Alexa has been secretly/inadvertently recording you (delete according to your prejudices), we can show you how. If you find any recordings you want to ensure no one else hears, you can also delete them.
There have long been accusations that digital assistants such as Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri are constantly listening in on and recording conversations, and recent events in Portland, Oregon are simply going to serve as extra fuel for conspiracy theorists.
A couple were disturbed to find that Alexa not only recorded a private conversation they had in their house, but then sent it on to a colleague as a message. Danielle says she and her husband felt it was "a total privacy invasion", and it is unlikely that Amazon's explanation will do anything to encourage her to use her Echo every again.
The smart home is a huge industry right now -- more and more appliances are gaining internet connectivity all the time. For instance, you can control your lights, garage door, television, and sprinkler system with an app nowadays. Hell, there are even internet-connected refrigerators! What a world we live in, eh?
Schlage has been selling smart deadbolt door locks that you can operate via app. Since they also have a key pad, you can share codes with friends and family so they can enter when you aren't around -- don't worry, you can always change the pin. The concept of a child carrying a key around their neck is a thing of the past. Today, the company announces that its Sense Smart Deadbolt and Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt are getting Alexa voice unlock capability. Wait -- is that a good idea? Actually, yes.