Amazon

Amazon Prime Air is real, but their drone army isn’t ready

Amazon Prime Air is real, but their drone army isn’t ready

Amazon is a company that thrives on selling products. But they've never been content with just shipping things to your door, and letting them arrive whenever. No, they want them to get there as fast as possible, through whatever means necessary. They've talked about using a drone army to deliver packages in the past, but today they've actually given some solid details about the proposed program.

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Amazon Echo will can read your Kindle books aloud and for free

Amazon Echo will can read your Kindle books aloud and for free

In the past weeks, we've seen Amazon push its Echo platform and Alexa personal assistant beyond its cylindrical home speaker. We've seen a fridge door speaker and Ford SYNC integration. We've also heard rumors of a more portable "Fox" version of Echo. This week, Amazon is putting the spotlight again on Alexa, but this time going back to its living room roots. Now Alexa can read you your books out loud, or softly rather, when you'd rather listen than read. That said, you'll have to live with the fact that Alexa isn't going to sound anything like your favorite narrator. Unless you happen to have a penchant for robotic narrators.

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Amazon Echo about to control smart thermostats

Amazon Echo about to control smart thermostats

Amazon's strangest product is about to connect to one of the most out-of-nowhere devices in the smart home today. Amazon Echo is said by sources close to the subject (who wish to remain anonymous) to be working with smart thermostats soon. This means that users will be able to ask Amazon Echo's smart assistant system Alexa to turn of their heat or turn the temperature cooler, for starters. After that, the smart temperature is the limit - all you need to do is ask.

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Amazon Echo might have a portable “Fox” version soon

Amazon Echo might have a portable “Fox” version soon

If you still can't figure out what place Amazon's Alexa has in your living room, perhaps you'll be able to figure it out better once she's in your hand or in your bag. Amazon Echo, the rather odd Amazon speaker contraption that also behaves as a smart assistant, has gotten rather mixed but generally positive reviews and that has prompted the retailer to expand, not just to cars or fridge magnets, but also to portable devices. Codenamed "Fox", the portable version of Amazon Echo is tipped to be coming in the next few weeks and will be Amazon's more formal bid to make Alexa a more prominent figure in the smart personal assistant wars.

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Ford SYNC pairs with Amazon Echo and Alexa

Ford SYNC pairs with Amazon Echo and Alexa

Ford's newest play for the smart experience is pairing their SYNC-equipped vehicles with Amazon Echo and Alexa. At CES 2016, Ford has announced that they are developing ways to pair "millions of SYNC-equipped vehicles" around the world with smart products in your home. To begin, they're working with SYNC Connect, pushing connections to Amazon's products - Amazon Echo and their smart assistant system Alexa. This connection will allow voice control access between smart cars and smart homes.

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Triby connected speaker, with Alexa inside, coming this Spring

Triby connected speaker, with Alexa inside, coming this Spring

Amazon might have its own virtual smart assistant but Alexa, as she is more personally known, can be found in one and only one device, the Amazon Echo. Well, soon not anymore. At CES 2016, we're once again seeing Invoxia's Triby connected speaker fridge magnet and, as we've seen, or rather heard, months ago, Alexa is still inside, ready to take your order. This makes Triby the first third party device to integrate Amazon's assistant, expanding Alexa's reach by just a wee bit and perhaps signaling the start of a new breed of Alexa-empowered devices.

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Whirlpool debuts washer and dryer with Amazon Dash built-in

Whirlpool debuts washer and dryer with Amazon Dash built-in

Home appliance maker Whirlpool has just announced a new smart washer and dryer set that can connect with Amazon's Dash Replenishment Service, allowing automatic orders of detergent and fabric softener to be a painless process. Amazon announced Dash Replenishment Service last October as an extension of its physical, WiFi-connected Dash Buttons, which let customers order a specific product, like dish soap, coffee, and pet food, with a single press. Now appliance makers can implement the service directly into products, so users are notified when supplies run low, and orders can be placed with a single tap.

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Target joins Amazon in pulling hoverboards from shelves

Target joins Amazon in pulling hoverboards from shelves

Back to the Future promised us hoverboards by the year 2015. We did end up getting them, but in the most disappointing way. Specifically, the devices that people keep calling “hoverboards” don't actually hover at all. Oh, and they have a tendency to catch on fire. Recently Amazon stopped taking orders for the devices, citing safety concerns, and now another retailer is following suit.

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