Alexa

Alexa Announcements make Echo a home PA system [Updated]

Alexa Announcements make Echo a home PA system [Updated]

Amazon is turning Alexa into a public address system for the home, with Echo speakers now able to make one-way announcements to summon the family down for dinner. Dubbed Alexa Announcements, the new feature is like a one-way intercom, Amazon suggests.

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Alexa hands-free comes to Amazon’s Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets

Alexa hands-free comes to Amazon’s Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets

Amazon's Alexa is going hands-free on the company's affordable Android tablets, with a new voice mode added to the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8. The two tablets, which are priced from $49.99, have had Alexa support since launch, but it's not worked in quite the same way as you'd experience the voice assistant through an Echo or Echo Dot.

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Alexa Routines gets music support: here’s how to use it

Alexa Routines gets music support: here’s how to use it

Amazon has announced an improvement to Alexa's Routines feature, enabling the digital personal assistant to play music as one of its preset routines. Routines, as usual, enables the user to automate certain series of actions, such as reading the news, turning on the lights, and getting the traffic based on a trigger phrase. Now users can make music part of those routines.

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Motiv Ring expands to embrace Amazon, b8ta, and Android

Motiv Ring expands to embrace Amazon, b8ta, and Android

Mention the word “wearable device” to people and those in the know will immediately think one of two things: a smartwatch, a fitness tracker, or even both. Motiv, however, wanted to smash that preconceived notion into little bits that you can wrap around your finger. Last year, the startup launched the Motiv Ring, which, as the name so plainly implies, crams all those fitness tracking hardware into something you can easily put on your finger. This year, it is expanding that ring’s reach by making it possible to buy the “truly wearable wearable” in more places.

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Alexa Donations turns Echo into charity collection box

Alexa Donations turns Echo into charity collection box

Amazon has turned Alexa into a donation-box rattling charity worker, adding the ability to donate charitable contributions by voice to its virtual assistant. Called Alexa Donations, the service launches today with almost fifty charities supported. However, Amazon says more are in the pipeline.

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Amazon Alexa gets DVR support for TiVo, DISH, and more

Amazon Alexa gets DVR support for TiVo, DISH, and more

Amazon's Alexa personal assistant now supports DVRs from certain companies, including TiVo, DISH, DirecTV, and Verizon. The new capabilities are made possible by an update to the Video Skill API, which Amazon announced today. With it, users can ask Alexa to schedule a new DVR recording and manage existing recordings, among other things. One example of a voice command now supported by the Video Skill API is, "Alexa, record TV Show Name."

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Polk Audio Command Bar is a home sound bar with Alexa built-in

Polk Audio Command Bar is a home sound bar with Alexa built-in

Polk Audio will soon start taking preorders for Command Bar, its home theater sound bar with Alexa built-in. The sound bar is slim and relatively minimalist in design, offering HDMI 2.0b for use with most HDTVs and 4K TVs. Among other things, the sound bar features far-field microphones for listening to the user's voice. According to Polk, its Command Bar was the first sound bar with Alexa support to be announced.

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These are Amazon’s Alexa white-box devices

These are Amazon’s Alexa white-box devices

There's an array of white-box devices coming with Amazon's Alexa inside. A white-box device, in this case, means a fully operational piece of hardware made by a company willing to work with big-brand-name companies to sell said products with different brand names attached. Companies that make white-box devices are called Original Design Manufacturers (ODM). Amazon just revealed a whole mess of ODM partners rolling with Alexa technology.

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Echo and Fire tablets see big discounts in one-day Amazon sale

Echo and Fire tablets see big discounts in one-day Amazon sale

Amazon is celebrating a rather big victory today, as it was recently ranked first place in Harris Poll's annual corporate reputation survey. This is the third year running that Amazon has landed the top ranking in the poll, and as a thank you to customers who made the win happen, it's hosting a one-day sale. While the sale is small in scope, we're seeing some pretty tempting discounts on products made by Amazon.

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Alexa ‘Brief Mode’ makes Echo less chatty

Alexa ‘Brief Mode’ makes Echo less chatty

Alexa is getting less chatty, with Amazon reportedly testing a new "Brief Mode" which would cut down the assistant's confirmations to a simple beep. Although not yet officially announced by Amazon, the new setting appears to be targeted at those who prefer a less talkative smart speaker, particularly as the interactions with the device grow in number.

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ecobee Switch+ wants to put Alexa in every light switch

ecobee Switch+ wants to put Alexa in every light switch

There's no lack on smart home products that double as Alexa devices these days, but ecobee is taking a rather unique approach to AI integration today. The company has announced the ecobee Switch+, a new light switch with a built-in speaker and Alexa Voice Service. The Switch+ was announced this morning at South by Southwest and ecobee is gearing up for launch in just a couple of weeks.

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Alexa expands on Fire, iPad, Android tablets

Alexa expands on Fire, iPad, Android tablets

Alexa video calling was added to a collection of tablets this week in an effort to ramp up Amazon's smart assistant omnipotence. Amazon announced the update for all tablets, all at once - that includes Amazon Fire tablets, Android tablets of all kinds, and the iPad from Apple. Users will be able to use their device to place video and audio calls with Alexa, or send messages to almost anyone, with the assistance of Alexa.

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