Amazon Alexa

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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Alexa users can now tell Shaq what to do with new voice option

Alexa users can now tell Shaq what to do with new voice option

Amazon has added two new celebrity voice options to its Alexa assistant: Shaq and Melissa McCarthy. With these new options, Alexa users will get responses from the personal assistant in the voice of either celebrity, the latest additions in its line of novelty voice options. Amazon previously added Samuel L. Jackson's voice, which remains available.

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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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Verizon Smart Display spotted with a 4G LTE edge

Verizon Smart Display spotted with a 4G LTE edge

It looks like Verizon will soon hop on the smart display bandwagon. The company is apparently creating its own smart display based on Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, and while it sounds like this new smart display will share a lot of its features with its competitors, there is one feature that might give it an edge in the smart display space.

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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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Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) Review: Alexa and ANC on a budget

Amazon Echo Buds (2nd Gen) Review: Alexa and ANC on a budget

As lockdown gradually lifts, the active noise cancelling earbuds which have made working from home more bearable are about to get a taste of the outside world. Amazon's new Echo Buds (2nd Gen) arrive just in time for that, pitching not only true wireless audio but hands-free Alexa and ANC with a head-turning $129.99 price tag.

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Ford is embedding Alexa in its newest models: Free data & new Power-Ups

Ford is embedding Alexa in its newest models: Free data & new Power-Ups

Ford is baking Alexa into more vehicle dashboards, part of its new Power-Up OTA updates that will see some drivers get three years of free cellular data with which to interact with Amazon's assistant. The new feature builds on Ford's existing Alexa support as part of its SYNC infotainment platform.

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