voice control

New Alexa skill has Amazon Echo reading 60,000 recipes

New Alexa skill has Amazon Echo reading 60,000 recipes

The Amazon Echo connected speaker can turn a number of activities into passive ones, such as reading the news or e-books out loud for users, book travel plans, track orders from Amazon, and even send text messages. But one category where the device has been lacking is in looking up and reading cooking recipes. That's finally changing, and just in time for the holidays.

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Amazon’s Black Friday starts early with Alexa’s Voice Shopping

Amazon’s Black Friday starts early with Alexa’s Voice Shopping

Starting this morning Amazon is making certain Black Friday shoppers are spending cash as early as possible with "voice shopping weekend." To do this, they're running a deal in which Amazon Tap is a bit cheaper than normal, and a few more deals can be found by asking Alexa devices. Users that have an Alexa-enabled device should ask, "Alexa, what are your deals" each day - but make sure not to say "what is YOUR deal," because that means something different.

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Big Mouth Billy Bass makes for the best Alexa hack

Big Mouth Billy Bass makes for the best Alexa hack

Alexa, Amazon's digital voice assistant that powers the Echo connected speaker, has already been used in a number of homemade hacks, such as using it to control a power wheelchair, remote start a car, and even have a Tesla Model S back out of a garage. But none of those compare to developer and artist Brian Kane's latest use of the technology: getting Alexa to speak through a Big Mouth Billy Bass animatronic fish.

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Skype for Business comes to Mac, Skype iOS gets Siri messaging support

Skype for Business comes to Mac, Skype iOS gets Siri messaging support

Microsoft's messaging and video calling platform Skype has released two updates heading into the weekend, one each for the Mac and iOS. The first isn't technically an update, but a brand-new app for the desktop: Skype for Business, the platform's service that focuses more on inter-office communication and productivity, along with heavy Office integration. The second is an update the regular Skype app on iOS, which introduces the ability to send messages by dictating them to Siri.

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Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Now that Apple's iOS 10 has been out for over a week and is making its way to most users' iPhones, lots of popular apps are updating to take advantage of the software's new features. One such release is today's update for Skype, which allows the app make use of the new Siri API for third-party developers. Now users can ask Siri to place a Skype call to someone without even opening the app.

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Apple reportedly testing its Siri-powered smart home speaker

Apple reportedly testing its Siri-powered smart home speaker

Amazon may have flopped with its attempt to get into the smartphone game with its own Fire Phone, but the company has found a sure-fire hit in its internet-connected Echo smart speaker. Now others a rushing to play catch-up, including Google with its own Home device, and, if rumors are true, Apple has a product brewing that will use Siri to control a home's lights, appliances, and other connected products.

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Bragi The Headphone debuts along with Bragi OS update for The Dash

Bragi The Headphone debuts along with Bragi OS update for The Dash

Bragi first surfaced with its Kickstarter campaign for it smart wearable device called The Dash. The Dash hit Kickstarter back in 2014 and was notable for having no wires and using an in-ear design along with the Bragi OS inside to make the wearable smart. Bragi is back with a couple announcements including a new set of headphones simply called The Headphone and an OS update for The Dash.

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DISH Voice Remote launches for Hopper 3, 4K Joey users

DISH Voice Remote launches for Hopper 3, 4K Joey users

Smart TVs and TV platforms these all flaunt some sort of voice control or another, whether they be Google Now, Siri, Alexa, or some unnamed, disembodied voice. Naturally, set-top boxes and DVRs have to get into the game as well. DISH Network is doing precisely that and then some. Its new Voice Remote, which will be available to Hopper 3 and 4K Joey customers, can, of course, react to your voice. But lest you think that is its only ability, you'd be pleasantly surprised to find out how wrong you are.

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CogniToys Dino Review : 1-week with a talking dinosaur

CogniToys Dino Review : 1-week with a talking dinosaur

The dinosaur "toy" shown here is not what it appears to be. It's supposed to be a toy for smart kits - or, to be fair, goofball kids if they know how to press a button and speak. It looks like a toy, but it's not just that. This is the CogniToys Dino, and it's likely the smartest dinosaur-themed object in my living space. He's also the most-used children's toy here (used by children or their parents) over the past few weeks. He cannot be stopped.

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Android tipped to allow Custom Voice Actions in near future

Android tipped to allow Custom Voice Actions in near future

While previous versions of Android had custom voice actions available on a case-by-case basis for developers, the future may go a bit more public. If you head back to Google's listing of "Custom Voice Actions" in their Android developer portal, you'll find a note posted in December of 2015. There they suggest that they're not currently accepting requests for Custom Voice Actions. They suggest to stay tuned for product updates. Those updates may be coming very, very soon.

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Siri is already teasing its arrival on Apple’s next Mac OS

Siri is already teasing its arrival on Apple’s next Mac OS

One of the more promising rumors we've been hearing as this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is that Apple will bring voice assistant Siri to the Mac in the newest version of its desktop operating system. Turns out, Siri has had the answer the whole time! One user has just discovered that by making requests involving the term "windows" (the UI, not the Microsoft OS), Siri will sometimes respond with references to "Finder."

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Amazon Alexa ramps up to 1,000 3rd-party skills

Amazon Alexa ramps up to 1,000 3rd-party skills

Amazon's line of Echo speakers and the virtual assistant Alexa are constantly getting updated with new features and connected services, but the company has now revealed that the number of third-party skills available has topped 1,000. That's a lot of new abilities for Alexa that developers have created, resulting in useful features like the ability to check bank accounts, make travel plans, and even order a pizza, all via voice commands.

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