voice control

Talk to Amazon’s Alexa from your iPhone with the Lexi app

Talk to Amazon’s Alexa from your iPhone with the Lexi app

As we've seen recently, Amazon's digital assistant Alexa is becoming more and more useful with each additional connected service and app integration. The only real limitation is that you be close enough to one of Amazon's Echo smart speakers to give a verbal command. What if you could make use of Alexa from your phone in the same way as Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana? That exactly what the new iOS app Lexi does, allowing you to bypass the Echo altogether.

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Amazon Alexa learns to summon a Tesla Model S

Amazon Alexa learns to summon a Tesla Model S

The autonomous driving features in the Tesla Model S have allowed the car to be summoned from its parking space for several months now, first via the keyfob, and then with an unofficial Apple Watch app. But now it's time to let another device do the summoning for you — like Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant in the Echo connected speaker. That's exactly what developer Jason Goecke has done, allowing him to tell his car to pull out of the garage with voice commands.

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Viv, from Siri’s makers, aims to be a better conversationalist

Viv, from Siri’s makers, aims to be a better conversationalist

Siri may be known for her (possibly even his) sometimes amusing, sometimes cheeky responses, but when it comes doing useful things, she/he/it turns out to be a less capable conversation partner. Sure, she can do some things but only if you ask Siri the right way. And even then, she/he/it can only carry a dialogue only so far, refusing to continue listening even when you're not yet done talking. And at times all that she does is bring up a web search result. These are the limitations that Viv, an up and coming personal assistant, is promised to overcome. And its creators are no other than Siri's creators as well.

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Amazon Alexa comes to 3rd party devices, starting with Triby

Amazon Alexa comes to 3rd party devices, starting with Triby

Alexa, Amazon's voice-based digital assistant that lives inside the Echo line of connected speakers, has finally made the jump to third-party devices, starting with the Triby. It's the first device to make use of Amazon's $100 million Alexa Fund, which helps companies looking to integrate Alexa into their products. Triby, made by France's Invoxia, is a slightly scaled down version of a smart home speaker, but with a focus on being used in the kitchen.

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Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon Echo’s newest trick: adding events to Google Calendar

Amazon's smart home-connected speaker Echo continues to get regular updates with new functionality and connected service, including everything from controlling the lights and thermostat, to playing Spotify and ordering a pizza. However, while the Echo, and in turn its digital assistant Alexa, has long had plenty of basic yet useful features like readying the news and sports scores, one limitation has been that it can't schedule new events in Google Calendar. After the latest update, that's no longer a problem.

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Android’s new accessibility features has Voice Access control

Android’s new accessibility features has Voice Access control

Google Now might be smart and all that but it's somewhat limited in what it can do when it comes to interacting with the rest of the apps and content on your Android smartphone. It can do searches, take notes, set up alarms, open apps, and some other basic tasks. Once it moves away from that search app, however, you're on your own. Not a problem for people with near perfect mobility, not so much for those with physical disabilities. Google is announcing the start of beta testing for a Voice Access app that addresses that need, allowing users to control other apps using only their voice.

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Build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi for $60

Build your own Amazon Echo with a Raspberry Pi for $60

It's amazing how a company can spend a fortune on researching and developing a product, and eventually someone finds a way to make the same thing for far less. Amazon's Echo has been out for a while now, but it still costs $180 for you to get your hands on one. But what if I told you that you could make your own at home for just $60?

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Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Haiku ceiling fans to add Amazon Alexa voice control

Big Ass Solutions’ Haiku Home ceiling fans will soon have voice control through Amazon Alexa, the company has announced. When the feature rolls around, users will be able to control their ceiling fans using voice commands, turning them on and off, adjusting their light intensity, and changing their speeds. The voice commands can be made using Amazon Tap, Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot.

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Fitbit teams with Amazon for voice-friendly fitness

Fitbit teams with Amazon for voice-friendly fitness

This week the folks at Fitbit have joined forces with the folks at Amazon to bring Amazon Echo voice assistant compatibility to the wearable fitness universe. This setup includes the ability to ask Alexa what Fitbit is thinking. You can't talk directly to Fitbit - Fitbit doesn't even understand what you're saying. That's just silly. You talk to Alexa with your Amazon Echo and Alexa will know what to do. Alexa can speak Fitbit.

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Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

Amazon Echo can now talk finances with Capital One customers

The third-party integrations with the Amazon Echo speaker and its assistant Alexa just keep on coming these days, and the latest is Capital One. Those who use the bank can now take advantage of voice commands to do things like check their account balances, make a payment, and even ask when a bill is due. This makes Capital One the first financial institution to integrate with the Echo.

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Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

Amazon is using Dot to make you more comfortable with Echo

If you want to get your customers to take your product and utilize all of its features, there are a lot of good ways that you can do it. Amazon has been pushing Alexa pretty hard, and with today's newest additions to the family, they found one way to encourage owners to use their Echo for ordering products from them. And not everyone likes the idea.

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Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

Amazon Tap and Echo Dot join Alexa in the connected home

In an unexpected surprise this Thursday morning, Amazon has just announced two new devices in its Echo connected speaker lineup. Dubbed the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, both units feature the Echo's digital assistant Alexa, or connect to it in some way. Both are available for pre-order starting today, although the Echo Dot has a pretty interesting buying process, which we'll get to in a moment.

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