Category Archives: Alexa


The Amazon Echo Gets The PRODUCT(RED) Treatment

Tyler Lee November 20, 2017

If you’re thinking about buying a new set of speakers and doing your bit for charity, you’ll be interested to learn that Amazon has recently announced a PRODUCT(RED) edition of their second-gen Echo speakers. As you can see in the photo above, this means that we’ll be seeing the Echo speaker get a new look.

In case it wasn’t obvious, the only change that the Echo will be seeing will be to its outside grill, where it will now sport a red cover. However apart from that, the tech specs and the features of the speaker will remain identical to the regular second-gen Echo. The speakers are priced at $100 and is available for pre-order via Amazon’s website, with 10% of the proceeds being donated to fighting AIDS through the Global Fund.

Whether or not you believe in the cause is up to you, but if you’re looking for a set of speakers with a striking finish instead of the usual black finish that we typically see, then perhaps this could be worth taking a look at. The speakers are currently set for a release on the 6th of December and also marks the first time that Amazon has launched such a device.

Amazon is of course not the first or only company to do so, with Apple possibly being the more at the forefront of such endeavors, such as creating (RED) iPods, iPhones, headphones, and so on.

The Amazon Echo Gets The PRODUCT(RED) Treatment , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


The Olie Lamp Comes With Wireless Charging And A Digital Assistant

Tyler Lee November 16, 2017

Remember back in the day when a lamp was just a lamp, and all it had to do was provide illumination? These days we’re seeing companies start to “enhance” our everyday gadgets, and the Olie Lamp is one of them. Launched on Indiegogo, the Olie Lamp is a lamp, a wireless charger, and also comes with a digital assistant baked inside of it.

Yup, this means that not only can you use the lamp for mood lighting, reading, or as a work lamp, but you can use it to wirelessly charge your phone (it relies on the Qi standard which makes it compatible with the new iPhones), and because it will feature either Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, you can issue voice commands to it, and we guess to also control other similar smart objects within your home or office.

We have to admit that in terms of the lamp’s design, which was designed by Pearl Studios, it is pretty sleek and minimalist. If that’s the kind of look you’re going for, then the Olie Lamp could be worth checking out. Whether or not the rest of the features are useful or necessary will also depend on you, but if you’re trying to reduce clutter by not having too many gadgets, like a lamp, a separate wireless charger, or a Google Home/Amazon Echo, then this should solve that conundrum.

As it stands the Olie Lamp can be pre-ordered on Indiegogo for $64 which is a limited early bird special. The regular price of the lamp is set at $180 and should it be successfully funded, it will be released to backers come June 2018.

The Olie Lamp Comes With Wireless Charging And A Digital Assistant , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Alexa Gets A Personal Finance Feature For Ally Bank Customers

Adnan Farooqui November 15, 2017

Amazon and Ally Bank have created a new skill for the former’s AI-powered digital assistant Alexa. The skill brings a new personal finance feature for Alexa that’s powered by Ally Bank. The bank’s customers can now ask Alexa questions like how many hours will they need to work in order to purchase a house, car or even that vacation they’ve always wanted.

Alexa already has a plethora of skills that enable it to perform a wide variety of tasks, ranging from calling you an Uber to reading out the news and keep an eye on your bank account.

This feature will help users ascertain whether the thing they want to purchase is even worth the amount of time they will spend working in order to earn it. This can provide some much needed perspective to those who have a tendency to get trapped in the rat race just because their wants outweigh their needs.

The new feature is called CurrenSee. Users can start off by asking Alex to open Ally and tell them how much a product or experience costs in CurrenSee. Alexa will then ask them how much they make in a year and how many hours they work in a week. It will then calculate and inform the user precisely how many hours of work they will have to put in to purchase that product or experience.

This is an expansion of the existing partnership between Amazon and Ally Bank. The bank’s customers can already perform everyday banking tasks on Amazon’s Echo devices. They can keep an eye on account balances, recent transactions and deposits, check current interest rates, and even transfer money.

Alexa Gets A Personal Finance Feature For Ally Bank Customers , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Alexa Moto Mod Will Be Available For Pre-Order November 7

Tyler Lee November 6, 2017

Last month you might recall that Motorola officially announced that they will be releasing a Moto Mod accessory with Alexa for the Moto Z family, and for those who are interested in this particular mod, you might be pleased to learn that it will be available for pre-order starting on the 7th of November, which is tomorrow.

For those learning about this for the first time, the Moto Smart Speaker is as its name implies. It is an accessory that users can attach to their Moto Z handset that will offer better speaker quality compared to that of the default speakers inside of the phone, and at the same time it will also be “smart” thanks to its Alexa integration.

This means that in theory you should be able to access all of Alexa’s skills while on the go. That being said the Moto Smart Speaker is pretty expensive as far as accessories are concerned. It will be priced at $150 which makes it more expensive than devices like the Echo Tap which is priced at $80, the only difference being that this is more portable.

In any case if the Moto Smart Speaker sounds like a Moto Mod that you think will be useful in your everyday life, pre-orders will kick off tomorrow so do keep an eye out for it.

Alexa Moto Mod Will Be Available For Pre-Order November 7 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


BBC Launches Interactive Story That Can Be Played Using Alexa

Tyler Lee November 6, 2017

With smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, users can do all sorts of things just by speaking out, like asking for the weather, shopping, buying food online, calling for a cab, asking for traffic updates, and so on. Now if you were looking to get more out of such devices, the BBC has you covered.

The BBC has recently launched an interactive story for Amazon’s Alexa (via Engadget) called The Inspection Chamber. According to the folks at Engadget who managed to go through the entire story, it seems that this is more of a an audiobook that users can interact with, rather than a choose-your-adventure kind of game.

Listeners will be placed into shoes of a character within a story, and they won’t actually be able to dictate the story’s direction. There is also no “winning” or “losing” or other features you might expect from the game, but it seems that the participative nature of the story does help to make it a more immersive experience.

It is still too early to tell if such experiences will become the norm that we can expect from audiobooks in the future, but it is definitely an interesting-sounding one all the same. For those who own an Alexa device, you can check it out if you’re interested.

BBC Launches Interactive Story That Can Be Played Using Alexa , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Users Can Now Shop On Best Buy Using Alexa

Tyler Lee November 6, 2017

Amazon sells just about everything and anything under the sun, although there are some products and services that they do not offer which is why it makes sense that there are Alexa skills that allow you to order a pizza or call for an Uber. However it seems that you can also now start shopping on Amazon’s rival, Best Buy.

This is because Best Buy has recently announced the launch of their own Alexa skill (via CNET) in which it will allow customers to shop for items using their voice. However Best Buy’s full catalogue and range of products won’t be available through Alexa, but rather it will be a limited selection, which includes the company’s Deal of the Day products, as well as TVs and laptops.

According to Best Buy, “Starting today, Best Buy customers can learn about and order Best Buy’s Deal of the Day products on an Amazon Alexa device. Shoppers can also buy from a tailored list of recommendations that is based on their needs and taken from Best Buy’s full assortment of laptops and TVs.”

Adding the Best Buy skill to Alexa can be done the same way as any other skill, so if maybe you’re looking for a good deal, or if there is a reason you might prefer buying certain things from Best Buy versus Amazon, this new Alexa skill should have you covered.

Users Can Now Shop On Best Buy Using Alexa , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Alexa Gets Oprah’s Voice For A Holiday Promo

Adnan Farooqui November 2, 2017

Waze has a long history of running promotions that bring celebrity voices to the platform for a limited time. Amazon is now doing something similar for Alexa, its digital personal assistant. Alexa is getting Oprah’s voice. You all know Oprah, she certainly needs no introduction. It’s part of a promotional campaign that Amazon and Oprah’s O magazine are running.

To be clear, Oprah’s voice won’t respond to your everyday voice commands like Alexa does. Her voice will only step in when customers shop her “Favorite Things” via Alexa. O, The Oprah Magazine and Amazon have promoted Oprah’s Favorite Things online for the last couple of years. Amazon launches a dedicated storefront online and on mobile.

For the first time ever, it’s expanding that partnership to Alexa and its Echo lineup of smart speakers. Users can trigger Oprah’s voice by saying “Alexa, let’s shop Oprah’s favorite things.” Oprah’s voice will then fill the room as she recommends one of her favorite products for the holiday season.

She will also provide some context as to why she picked that particular product. Alexa will then ask the user if they want to purchase that product and if they reply in the negative, Oprah will move on to the next item on her list.

Those who don’t have access to Alexa or Amazon’s Echo devices can still find Oprah’s Favorite Things in a dedicated Amazon storefront both online and on mobile.

Alexa Gets Oprah’s Voice For A Holiday Promo , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Sonos Promises Spotify & Alexa Voice Commands By December 21

Tyler Lee November 1, 2017

Earlier last month Sonos announced their new Sonos One speaker that comes with support for Alexa. Given how widespread we’re seeing Alexa get these days, it hardly comes as a surprise, although unfortunately Alexa’s integration with Spotify isn’t quite there yet as there is some functionality missing.

However the good news is that according to Sonos, they expect to have full Spotify and Alexa voice command support by the 21st of December. This is according to a post on the Sonos website in which it reads, “Spotify users: Currently you cannot ask Alexa to start music from Spotify on Sonos. You can start music with the Sonos or Spotify app. We will offer full voice support for Spotify by December 21.”

For those unfamiliar with this “problem”, basically you can use Alexa with Sonos to perform very basic music playback controls, like playing, pause, and skip tracks, and adjusting the volume levels. However if you wanted more features like telling Alexa to play your Spotify playlists, a particular artist or album, that integration isn’t there yet, but it should arrive by the 21st of December as per Sonos’ announcement.

Oddly enough Alexa has no such problems controlling music on the Sonos One from services like Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio, and SiriusXM, so we’re not sure why full Spotify integration was a part of it at launch.

Sonos Promises Spotify & Alexa Voice Commands By December 21 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Amazon Offers Developers Up To $250,000 For Kid-Friendly Alexa Skills

Tyler Lee October 29, 2017

Right now the majority of gadgets and online services were created with adults in mind. However this doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t be left out of the fun, but with issues like privacy coming to mind (Mattel had to cancel their kid-focused smart speakers), how will developers approach this?

The good news for tech savvy parents looking to get their kids into technology is that Amazon is hoping to champion more kids-friendly services, and have since launched a Alexa Skills Challenge: Kids with Devpost that aims to reward developers with a prize pool of $250,000 to create Alexa skills that are aimed at kids.

According to Amazon, “The Alexa Skills Challenge invites developers to build an Alexa skill that educates, entertains, and engages kids under 13. We’re looking for skills that invite young listeners to explore new things, to be creative, ask questions, solve problems, and be proud of their accomplishments. A great educational skill should inspire learning. Maybe your skill will help kids set goals, or get into a routine, plan a project, or follow step-by-step instructions.”

The grand prize will see the winner take home $25,000 in cash, and a “cool trophy” to show off to their friends, family, and co-workers. There will also be a total of twenty finalists who will get $5,000 and have their skills promoted by Amazon, and even if you don’t win, eligible participants will also be given a limited-edition Echo Dot. It is clear that Amazon wants to try and create as many skills for Alexa as possible to help further its platform, in which they have recently announced that they will also be offering certain “premium” skills as a paid subscription.

Amazon Offers Developers Up To $250,000 For Kid-Friendly Alexa Skills , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Amazon Introduces Paid Subscriptions For ‘Premium’ Alexa Skills

Tyler Lee October 26, 2017

When the Amazon Echo first arrived on the scene, many were surprised as this was not really something that they would have expected from the company. However the Echo devices and its digital assistant Alexa quickly gained ground, thanks to Amazon allowing third-party developers to create “skills” for the assistant.

For the most part the skills have been free, but not anymore because it looks like Amazon wants to monetize it. The company has recently announced that they will now be introducing paid subscriptions for “premium” Alexa skills. Right now it seems that one of the skills that will be taking advantage of this feature will be the Jeopardy! skill, where it will cost users $1.99 a month.

However the good news is that if you’re a Prime member, Amazon has stated that access to premium skills will be free. Presumably this is one of the ways that Amazon is trying to get customers to sign up for a Prime membership, which includes expedited/free shipping, exclusive deals, access to video/music streaming, and more.

In a statement provided by an Amazon spokesperson, “Bringing a subscription model to skills for Alexa will bring customers the benefit of new, engaging, and high-quality experiences while providing developers an additional way to earn money from their skills.”

Amazon Introduces Paid Subscriptions For ‘Premium’ Alexa Skills , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.