Alexa

Amazon’s Smart Soap Dispenser keeps the CDC and Alexa happy

Amazon’s Smart Soap Dispenser keeps the CDC and Alexa happy

Amazon wants to make sure your hands are clean, with a new Alexa-connected Smart Soap Dispenser proving that there's really no room where the assistant can't follow you. The new gadget, quietly added to Amazon's virtual shelves today, doesn't have a speaker or microphone itself, but it does help you meet the CDC's guidelines for how long you're scrubbing your filthy fingers.

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How to switch to Amazon Alexa’s new Echo voice

How to switch to Amazon Alexa’s new Echo voice

Amazon's Alexa has a new voice option, and if you've wanted something new in your conversations, switching to a different sounding assistant could do the trick. The company quietly rolled out the new Alexa voice earlier this month, and changing over is straightforward.

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Amazon wants a future where you don’t install Alexa Skills

Amazon wants a future where you don’t install Alexa Skills

Alexa Skills may have proved popular for adding new functionality to Amazon's virtual assistant, but the company is aiming to make the chatty smart home tech clever enough that users don't need to go out looking for third-party add-ons. Currently, there are more than 100,000 Alexa Skills - effectively apps for the voice-first assistant - available, and with that comes confusion.

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Amazon Alexa finally gets a male voice and an additional name

Amazon Alexa finally gets a male voice and an additional name

Voice-controlled AI-powered assistants are pretty smart these days, but they didn't exactly start out that way. They weren't particularly smart about the way they sounded, at least not in the beginning. Almost all of these smart assistants, regardless of company or name, started out with a female voice before finally allowing users to pick from a variety of voices. The lone holdout among the major AI assistants is Alexa, but Amazon is finally letting users pick a male-sounding voice, eight years after the assistant debuted.

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This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

Verizon has revealed its own Smart Display, an Alexa-powered screen that packs its own LTE connection as well as WiFi. Built in collaboration with Amazon, it's the first example of a smart home product made with the Amazon Custom Assistant, meaning Verizon Fios customers will be able to ask for specific account details and get service support.

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Samsung gives in and serves up built-in Alexa in new Family Hub fridges

Samsung gives in and serves up built-in Alexa in new Family Hub fridges

Samsung today announced the sixth-generation Family Hub smart fridge, and with it, we're getting a big addition. While Family Hub refrigerators have primarily supported Samsung's Bixby and SmartThings platforms in the past, this is the first generation that will come with Amazon's Alexa built-in. That, obviously, gives users more flexibility in how they integrate a Family Hub fridge with their smart home setup.

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Amazon Alexa-powered kid tracker leaks

Amazon Alexa-powered kid tracker leaks

Amazon has quietly been working on a wearable for kids, according to new leaks, complete with GPS tracking for paranoid parents. Like other gadgets designed to help monitor younger children, the wearable would have embedded wireless connectivity - similar to Amazon's Halo fitness band, shown here - though Amazon apparently also had plans to bake in Alexa, its smart assistant.

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You decide if Amazon makes these Diane von Furstenberg Echo Dots

You decide if Amazon makes these Diane von Furstenberg Echo Dots

Amazon is adding a new project to its Build It crowdfunding system, with a set of Echo Dot x Diane von Furstenberg smart speakers customized by the famous designer. Launched earlier this year, Amazon Build It is an opportunity for the retailer to test the water for more unusual products, gauging consumer demand before giving them the green light for actual production.

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LG webOS TV brings Amazon Alexa to third party TVs

LG webOS TV brings Amazon Alexa to third party TVs

It's not easy to determine which smart TV platform is really leading the market. Smart TV sales don't exactly correlate to the popularity or quality of the software that runs on them. Despite having been a close Google partner back when it still made smartphones, LG has opted to pave its own path with a proprietary spin of webOS made especially for TVs. It has opened up that platform to more TV makers and is now giving its own competitors one of its exclusive features, the ability to speak to Amazon's Alexa, even without an Alexa-powered speaker.

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Ring Car Cam leaks: This could be Amazon’s Alexa dash-cam

Ring Car Cam leaks: This could be Amazon’s Alexa dash-cam

Details and what appears to be an image of Ring's upcoming Car Cam have leaked, with the connected dash cam expected to add security both when the vehicle is parked and while it's on the move. The newest addition to Ring's line-up was actually announced in September 2020 as part of Amazon's big device launch, though at the time no pictures of the Car Cam hardware itself were shared.

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Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

The pandemic has made clear that low-resolution webcams are only the tip of the video calling iceberg: in an ideal world we'd all have our own cameraperson to make sure the angles were perfect. That's what Amazon's Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation) promises, turning Alexa into your personal videographer but - to keep the new smart display to $130 - with no moving parts involved.

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I just opted out of Amazon Sidewalk: Here’s how and why

I just opted out of Amazon Sidewalk: Here’s how and why

Amazon Sidewalk launches this month, but I just headed into the Alexa app to make sure I wasn't automatically enrolled into the controversial shared neighborhood network. Part of Amazon's Echo and Ring products, Sidewalk makes big promises about more resilient connectivity, useful features like lost object tracking, and even helping get new smart home devices online. At the same time, though, Sidewalk and the way Amazon is launching it has given many users pause.

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