Amazon aims to make Alexa assistant bigger part of users' lives

Amazon Smart Plug

All the three aforementioned new Echo devices - Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Sub - come with Amazon's smart voice assistant - Alexa and will let users to manually adjust the audio level as per their requirements by voice command.

The tech firm is to introduce redesigned versions of its Echo Dot, Echo Plus and Echo Show smart home speakers - all of which are powered by voice-activated, artificially intelligent assistant Alexa. But one of the most important improvements announced by Amazon earlier today is Skype calling, which is coming to Alexa very soon. On Thursday as part of Amazon's mass product unveiling, the company announced Echo Auto - a dongle that adds Echo functionality to your vehicle. For $299.99, the Echo Link Amp adds a 60W, 2-channel amplifier for directly connecting to bookshelf speakers. It will feature an improved speaker system alongside its 10-inch HD screen, which can be used to stream videos and make video calls.

My Echo Dot is sitting a mere two-feet away as I write this, and somehow, the light that usually blinks cheerfully every time I invoke "Alexa", appears to be a shade of rueful. What you can do is pair two Echo Dots to create a stereo setup that'll give you a more rounded listening experience.

What you get, exactly, is a portable Echo that uses a Bluetooth connection to your phone and an eight-microphone array to take requests via Alexa and can spit out songs, directions, your to-do list, a book from Audible and more. Thanks to its powerful speech recognition technology, Alexa is able to hear you over music, vehicle noises like the A/C and outside road noises. However, you have to be using either the new Echo Plus or the new Echo Show for this to work. Considered together, the Echo Dot and Home Mini account for well over a third of the total smart speaker shipments in the second quarter of 2018.

Amazon did not say when this feature will become generally available. Amazon claims it has higher quality speakers that can crank 70 percent louder.

Last year's Echo Plus is quite a bit taller than the new model, but more importantly it only comes in black as a colour option and the finish is that plasticky look we mentioned previously. The listing reveals the prices and the key features of the devices as well.

The new Echo Plus.

Amazon also demonstrated a new feature it calls Alexa Guard, which can recognise the sound of window glass breaking through connected home security devices and warn users of a potential break-in. These are the Echo Sub, Echo Input, Echo Link, Echo Link Amp and Echo Wall Clock.

Related News:

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley Sets Friday Deadline for Kavanaugh Accuser

    Sen. Chuck Grassley Sets Friday Deadline for Kavanaugh Accuser

    If all 49 senators who caucus with Democrats vote no, two Republican no votes would sink Kavanaugh. The letter was leaked to the public without a name included within a week of the committee vote.
    OnePlus 6T Alleged 'Official Poster' Displaying Waterdrop Notch, New Tagline Leaked

    OnePlus 6T Alleged 'Official Poster' Displaying Waterdrop Notch, New Tagline Leaked

    It is being speculated that OnePlus 6T will come with a 6.4-inch Optic AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. The company has also confirmed that the OnePlus 6T will offer better more battery life as compared to its predecessor OnePlus 6 .
    ME  restaurant sedates lobsters with marijuana smoke

    ME restaurant sedates lobsters with marijuana smoke

    Visitors to the restaurant can choose whether they want to have their lobster pre-calmed using marijuana or not. Lobsters experience the world in fundamentally different ways than humans do, he noted.
  • Tiger Woods: The stunning statistics

    Tiger Woods: The stunning statistics

    To come all the way back, Woods said a couple of times this year, was fantastic even before he won. "It was special to see them". Rose, on the other hand, won the FedEx Cup and a $US10 million ($13.7 million) payday, with Woods finishing in second spot.
    Kavanaugh denies new harassment allegations from college classmate

    Kavanaugh denies new harassment allegations from college classmate

    But he added "unless there's something more" to back up her accusation, he's "not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this". Also unclear is what day she might come to Capitol Hill and whether she's offering to speak in a public session or a private one.
    U.S.  envoy Haley rejects Iran blame over parade attack

    U.S. envoy Haley rejects Iran blame over parade attack

    Compared to regional peers, Iran has suffered only sporadic attacks in recent years. "The Saudis' plan is wrong". Shi'ite Iran is at odds with Western-allied Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia for predominance in the Middle East.
  • China accuses Trump Administration of bullying as trade war flares

    Beijing cancelled the visit of a Chinese negotiating team expected September 27-28 in Washington, The Wall Street Journal said. It has demanded that China better protect American intellectual property, including ending the practice of cyber theft.
    Pro-China Abdulla Yameen ousted in Maldives presidential poll, India hails result

    Pro-China Abdulla Yameen ousted in Maldives presidential poll, India hails result

    Mr Yameen, who was widely tipped to retain power, had jailed or forced into exile nearly all of his main rivals. Still, Fiasal said, the result was surprising because "no one thought that Yameen would lose like this".
    Josh Allen guides Bills to big  upset of Vikings with legs, guts

    Josh Allen guides Bills to big upset of Vikings with legs, guts

    Turns out the defense was just getting started. "It was just one of those games...we know what it feels like and we've got to get better".
  • Testimony by Trump court nominee's accuser set; new allegation surfaces

    The White House and Kavanaugh have denied the allegation as a "smear", and the White House is standing by the president's nominee. They also compared the current controversy to the sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill in 1991.
    Bill Cosby Accusers Hope He Spends

    Bill Cosby Accusers Hope He Spends "Some Time Behind Bars"

    In this instance, "the judge is going to get flak", he said. "There's a lot up on appeal, but there's not a lot decided". The stakes are high given the lifetime counseling, community alerts and public shaming the designation would trigger.
    New England Patriots almost  traded Rob Gronkowski to the Detroit Lions

    New England Patriots almost traded Rob Gronkowski to the Detroit Lions

    Gronkowski signed a contract extension with New England prior to the National Football League season starting a couple weeks ago. Over two career games against the Packers, Gronkowski has eight catches for 123 yards and no touchdowns.


Most liked

Pompeo confident United States will win China trade war
The US will levy tariffs of 10% initially, rising to 25% at the end of 2018. Previous talks in late August led to little progress.

Paul Pogba explains why Alexis Sanchez will come good at Manchester United
Paul Pogba is confident under-fire Alexis Sanchez will come good at Manchester United amid his team-mate's struggles to impress. Mourinho's men now trail Premier League leaders Liverpool by eight points and still have to face their bitter rivals twice.

UK Labour hopes to paper over Brexit splits for united front
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Mr Corbyn said: "What comes out of conference I will adhere to". Brexit is one of several challenges facing Corbyn, who heads a divided party.

Apple Watch Series 4 comes to SA on 28th September
The iPhone Xs Max has now definitely been confirmed and being hyped up to be great for photo and video editing, as well as gaming. Okay we're onto the XR now and all the colours that were leaked earlier are accurate - white, black, yellow coral, blue and red.

ISIS video claims to show attackers of Iranian military parade
Iranian armed forces members march in a military parade similar to that struck by gunmen on Saturday. There have also been economic protests in the region and protests over Iran's nationwide drought.

Anthony Joshua Defeats Povetkin
It was not until the seventh round that Joshua picked off a tiring Povetkin and delivered a brutal finish. Mike Costello, BBC Sport boxing correspondent: "It was a brilliantly placed and timed right hand".

Schumer, Feinstein urge Trump to order FBI investigation of Kavanaugh allegations
She can not recall the place or date, however, and appears to remember other key details such as who was present incorrectly. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr.

Trump administration moves to restrict immigrants who use public benefits
The proposed changes would create a subjective criteria and overly-bureaucratic process when making a public charge determination. Proposed disqualifying benefits would also include the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy and vouchers for Section 8 Housing.

Second woman accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct
Republicans intend to prove their willingness to stand up for him, no matter how unseemly or offensive their campaign becomes. Trump has called Ford's allegation into question, writing on Twitter on Friday that "if the attack on Dr.

Destiny 2 Introduces New Crucible Mode Breakthrough Next Tuesday
Anyone who owns the Forsaken DLC will also be able to being playing Breakthrough in private matches beginning September 25. The first one to fill their bank summons a "Prime Evil", the first team to kill the Prime Evil wins the round.

Second woman accuses Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct
Other Republicans scoffed at Ford's latest offer questioning her willingness to accept the committee's request to tell her story. Grassley had rejected that demand in a letter, writing that one witness can't compel the committee to subpoena other witnesses.

Here's where Tropical Depression Kirk is Sunday and where it's going
This system could get a boost by Monday as the strong upper- level winds that are now keeping it at bay are expected to diminish. National Hurricane Center advisory, Kirk's sustained winds measured 35 mph and extended 70 miles north of the storm's center.

Octopuses get very friendly when they're on MDMA, study reveals
DOLEN: First of all, they spent significantly more time in the side of the tank, the chamber, that had the other octopus in it. The design of the experiment testing the octopus' interaction with novel objects and other another octopus.

Maurizio Sarri explains why Liverpool are 'step ahead' of Blues
If it's the latter, we love it. "It's very hard to play in the Europa League, but more hard in March and April, not now", Sarri said.

Supermarket chain removes Australianstrawberries after needles found
Countdown has pulled all the brand of strawberries from its shelves , as well as from FreshChoice and SuperValue last week. Mr O'Connor said he was looking into whether Australian strawberries had undergone extra scrutiny in recent weeks.