Category

Alexa

These antique phones are precious, private Alexa vessels

By | Alexa, Amazon, Artificial Intelligence, DIY, Gadgets, Hardware, retro, TC, vintage

Amazon’s Alexa may be in ten thousand different devices now, but they all have one other thing in common: they’re new. So for those of us that prefer old things but still want to be able to set timers and do metric-imperial conversions without pulling out our phones, Grain Design is retrofitting these fabulous old telephones to provide Alexa access with no other hints of modernity. There’s even a privacy angle!

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Alexa is reported down across Europe

By | Alexa, Amazon, amazon alexa, Amazon Echo, austria, computing, engadget, Gadgets, Germany, ireland, Online Music Stores, Publishing, spain, United Kingdom, world wide web

Reports are coming in that Amazon’s Alexa service is down in parts of UK, Spain, Germany and Austria. According to Down Detector and Twitter, the problem started surfacing around 8am local time and still continues. Interestingly, some users are reporting the issue is isolated to Echo Dot 2 models and while other Echo devices are […]

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Committed to privacy, Snips founder wants to take on Alexa and Google, with blockchain

By | Alexa, Amazon, Blockchain, cryptocurrency, Developer, Europe, Gadgets, Google, siri, Snips, Startups, TC

The story could be a harbinger of things to come when voice becomes more and more ubiquitous. After all, Amazon announced the launch of Alexa for Hospitality, its Alexa system for hotels, in June. News stories like this simply reinforce the idea that voice control is seeping into our daily lives. The French startup Snips […]

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Surprise, no one buys things via Alexa

By | Alexa, Amazon, eCommerce, Gadgets, Hardware

Some numbers published in a report from The Information reveal that very few owners of Alexa-powered devices use them for shopping. Of about 50 million Alexa users, only about 100,000 reportedly bought something via voice interface more than once. It’s not exactly surprising, but it may still harm the narrative of of conversational commerce that Amazon and others are trying to advance.

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Digging deeper into smart speakers reveals two clear paths

By | Alexa, Amazon, amazon alexa, Amazon Echo, Apple, Artificial Intelligence, Assistant, Ben Einstein, computing, echo, Gadgets, Google, Google Assistant, ring, smart speaker, smart speakers, smart technology, Sonos, sonos one, Speaker, Spotify, steel, TC, Technology

In a truly fascinating exploration into two smart speakers – the Sonos One and the Amazon Echo – BoltVC’s Ben Einstein has found some interesting differences in the way a traditional speaker company and an infrastructure juggernaut look at their flagship devices. The post is well worth a a full read but the gist is […]

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Alexa gets smarter about calendar appointments

By | Alexa, Amazon, Gadgets, TC

As digital assistants improve, we’re learning new things to expect from them, but the tasks that a real-life assistant may have handled before can still be a bit of a challenge to home assistants. Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is gaining functionality to help it get smarter about working with your calendar. The new abilities will […]

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