Category Archives: Alexa


Dish Integrates Alexa With Hopper DVR

Adnan Farooqui May 22, 2017

Dish today announced that it’s now the first TV provider to offer direct compatibility with Amazon Alexa. This integration will enable users to watch TV hands-free with Amazon’s digital personal assistant. Starting today, Dish customers with a Hopper or Wally set-top box and an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap can use Alexa to watch TV hands-free.

“Hopper and Alexa introduce next-level convenience that redefines the way TV fits into our lives,” said Niraj Desai, the vice president of product management at Dish.

Dish’s skill for Alexa will enable users to change the channel, pause, rewind, and search for content by simply giving Alexa the relevant voice command through an Echo device. This isn’t going to work with the set-top box only, an Echo family device is required for the integration to work.

The universal search functionality works across live, recorded, and on-demand titles aside from Netflix’s library of movies and TV shows. Sample voice commands include “Alexa, search for comedies,” “Alexa, change channel to ESPN,” and “Alexa, find the Big Bang Theory.”

The Dish TV skill can be found in the Alexa app. A receiver code will be generated using the set-top box which needs to be entered into the Alexa app.

Once the set-top box is paired with the Echo device, it will be synced with the chosen receiver and then this functionality will be available to users.

Dish Integrates Alexa With Hopper DVR , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Google Assistant Beats Out The Competition In Understanding Accents

Tyler Lee May 19, 2017

Just because you speak English it doesn’t mean that your English sounds the same compared to the person standing next to you. This is because there are variances like the timbre in your voice, your upbringing, your gender, and of course things like race and heritage play a part in the way you sound.

This clearly presents as a challenge when developing voice-based software in which developers need to ensure that their software can understand as many accents as possible. That being said, which software works the best? That’s what the folks at WIRED tried to found out in a test in the video above, where they took a bunch of participants with various accents and tested them out on the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri.

For anyone who’s used Google Now or Google Assistant, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Google Assistant came out on top in the test. Participants were told to deliberately mispronouncing words and names to see if the software could catch on, and for the most part Google Assistant held its own and stumbled a bit when it came to Italian accents.

Apple’s Siri came in second while Amazon’s Alexa platform performed the worst of the three, although we guess to be fair Amazon’s entrance into the voice recognition software was recent, so perhaps with time we can expect improvements to be made to Alexa.

Google Assistant Beats Out The Competition In Understanding Accents , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Amazon Launches New Fire Tablets

Adnan Farooqui May 17, 2017

Amazon has announced the addition of two new tablets to its Fire tablet lineup today. The new Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets are now available from the online retailer. The new Fire 7 has a thinner and lighter design, comes with an improved 7 inch display, and promises a battery life of up to 8 hours with mixed use. The new Fire HD 8 comes with an 8 inch HD display, a quad core processor with up to 12 hours of battery life, 16GB of storage, and Alexa.

The Fire 7 is Amazon’s cheapest tablet and a pretty good value for a basic tablet since it costs $49.99. It now has an improved IPS display with higher contrast and sharper text. The battery life has been improved as well to up to 8 hours. It can be purchased with up to 16GB of onboard storage with microSD card support up to 256GB.

Customers who want a bit more can pay $30 extra and get the Fire HD 8 for $79.99. It features an 8 inch 1280 x 800 pixel resolution HD display, 12 hours of battery life, up to 32GB of storage and up to 256GB expandable storage support.

Both tablets feature Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant which can perform a wide variety of tasks in response to voice commands. Basic front and rear cameras are onboard as well and so is dual-band Wi-Fi and Screen Sharing support.

The new Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 tablets are available for pre-order starting today in new color options which include Black, Punch Red, Canary Yellow, and Marine Blue.

Amazon Launches New Fire Tablets , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Alexa Notifications Support Arrives Soon

Adnan Farooqui May 16, 2017

Amazon is working hard to improve Alexa and establish it as a force to be reckoned with in the smart assistant category. It announced today that Alexa will soon have support for notifications which is something that will make the smart assistant more proactive. Notifications support will enable Alexa skills to send out notifications to the user so that they can catch up on whatever it is that they missed.

Amazon confirmed today that customers will soon be able to enable notifications for select skills and Amazon.com shopping updates on most devices with Alexa. They won’t receive any notifications from skills that they’ve not allowed to send them notifications.

The Washington Post, AccuWeather, Just Eat, and Life360 will be among the first to update their Alexa skills with support for notifications. Alexa will alert users when there are pending notifications by either a chime or a pulsing green light on Amazon Echo devices.

Users can then say voice commands like “Alexa, what did I miss?” or “Alexa, what are my notifications” to catch up on any and all notifications that they might have missed. Amazon reiterates that all skills are going to require users to opt-in before they can send any notifications.

Users will also be able to disable notifications for skills or suppress them temporarily by putting their devices in Do Not Disturb mode by voice or by using the Alexa app.

Alexa Notifications Support Arrives Soon , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Amex Skill For Alexa Launched

Tyler Lee May 14, 2017

One of the good things about Amazon and its Alexa AI is that individual users and companies are more than welcome to create their own “skills” for the software. For those unfamiliar, skills are basically the things that Alexa can do, and for those who own an American Express credit card, it seems that an Amex skill has been added to the list.

According to the press release put out by American Express, “Starting today, the new Amex skill will be available to all eligible U.S. Consumer and OPEN Card Members with an American Express ID and Password.  By linking their online American Express account to the Amex skill, eligible Card Members with an Alexa-enabled device can check their account balance, review recent charges, make a payment and more through voice commands.”

Yup, basically through the use of your voice and as long as your account is linked up, you’ll be able to check on your account’s balance and make payments all through the use of your voice. The Amex skill will also play nice with the Amex Offers ecosystem where users can browse for limited time offers that are exclusive to them.

The skill should already be live so all users have to do is add it to their account. More details can be found on American Express’ website.

Amex Skill For Alexa Launched , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Ads Could Soon Be Coming To Alexa Skills

Tyler Lee May 12, 2017

If there is a reason why some users choose to pay for services like Netflix or the premium version of Spotify it is because they don’t want to deal with ads. While ads are a perfectly legitimate way of making money, it can disrupt the viewing or listening experience which is something not everyone appreciates.

Now it seems that soon ads could be invading your smart speakers like the Amazon Echo. In a report from CNET, it seems that ads could be coming to Alexa skills thanks to a company called VoiceLabs. Basically what will happen is that the company will help insert ads inside of Alexa skills, so that when you’re done using a particular skill, you might hear an ad or a shoutout to one of their partners.

Speaking to CNET’s Ry Crist, Adam Marchick, CEO and co-founder of VoiceLabs gave an example in which users can expect to hear messages like, “Thanks for playing our game, and thanks to ESPN for supporting us.” Marchick also added that a few uses later, the ad might evolve and remind users that there is a game on ESPN tonight and if they would like to be reminded about it.

However as it stands, Amazon has a pretty strict policy in which skills for Alexa found to contain advertising may be banned or rejected. In VoiceLabs’ case, they’re skirting around the rule by positioning these ads as flash briefings which is allowed by Amazon. According to Marchick, “We are 100 percent in compliance with Amazon’s policies. Today, there are around 3,000 flash briefing and streaming skills. What are the other 10,000 skills developers that have invested even more in developing their skills going to do for monetization? This needs to be addressed.”

Ads Could Soon Be Coming To Alexa Skills , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Alexa Voice Calling And Messaging Feature Launched

Adnan Farooqui May 9, 2017

Amazon hasn’t just announced a new Echo device today, the first ever with a display, it has also launched a couple of great features for existing Alexa-powered devices. Amazon has launched Alexa voice calling and messaging features today. This feature will be available for all previous Echo devices. Amazon says that it’s going to be live “soon,” which should be around or before June 28th when it starts shipping the Echo Show.

The voice calling feature is very easy to use. Just ask Alexa to call any of your contacts who have an Alexa device themselves and their device will start ringing. Yes, this won’t work if your contact doesn’t have an Alexa device.

That’s not going to be a problem, though, as Amazon is not limiting this feature to its Echo devices. The feature is also baked into the Alexa app for iOS and Android so it can easily be used by those who don’t have an Echo at home.

Since the Echo Show has a display, it can even make video calls, which also work with the Alexa app. Voice messaging is another new Alexa feature that Amazon has announced today. It lets users leave voice messages to their contacts, it’s kind of like voicemail, but simpler as it doesn’t involve having to call someone first.

Messages can be sent and received via an Echo device or the Alexa app. Expect these features to go live at some point next month.

Alexa Voice Calling And Messaging Feature Launched , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Amazon Echo Show Price And Specs Officially Confirmed

Adnan Farooqui May 9, 2017

We had been hearing reports recently that Amazon has a new Echo product in the pipeline. In was said to be the first Echo device with a touchscreen. We even saw a leaked render of this product a couple of days ago and today, the company has made the official announcement. It has officially confirmed the price and specs of the Amazon Echo Show.

It’s quite similar to the normal Echo smart speaker. It’s powered by Alexa so it can do anything and everything that you can do with a normal Echo speaker. However, the integrated display opens up a whole world of possibilities.

The Echo Show is going to use its display to provide users with more information about their queries. For example, asking Alexa about the weather is going to bring up detailed weather information on the display. It can even be used to play video news briefings from networks like CNN.

Amazon Echo Show is also capable of accessing photos stored on Prime Photos which enables the device to double as a digital photo frame. If it’s being used to stream music from Amazon Music, the display can show lyrics for that track.

The Echo Show can be hooked up to Wi-Fi enabled cameras so that it can show the feeds when asked by the user. There’s even support for voice and video calls which will work through the Alexa app.

Amazon Echo Show is being offered in black and white colors for $229.99 respectively. Pre-orders are open now and shipments begin June 28th.

Amazon Echo Show Price And Specs Officially Confirmed , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


Amazon Echo With Display Image Leaked

Adnan Farooqui May 7, 2017

Amazon has gradually been increasing its Echo device lineup over the past few months. They have really proven to be popular so Amazon is cashing in on the trend. We’ve heard reports that Amazon is working on a unique Echo device that has a display. We’ve now seen the first leaked image of this Amazon Echo with display.

This is going to be a first as Amazon hasn’t released an Echo device with a display just yet. Right now, they just look like any other Bluetooth speaker with Alexa baked in. However, it’s going to be a different story with the Amazon echo with display.

Users presumably won’t have to use the mobile app as they will be able to configure almost all of the settings right from the device’s display itself. Evan Blass a.k.a @evleaks has posted an image of this Amazon device online.

As far as the design is concerned, the device looks like a TV set from decades back. Blass says that Amazon is going to sell this device in black and white colors. To be honest, if this is the final design of this product, it does leave a lot to be desired.

It appears to be a box with a display inside. What do you think, would the design convince you enough to spend hundreds of dollars on this product? Amazon is yet to confirm when this Echo device is going to be launched.

@RDR0b11 ..but it comes in white, too! pic.twitter.com/FDm7fi75rD

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 5, 2017

Amazon Echo With Display Image Leaked , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.


GE Alexa Lamp Price And Availability Confirmed

Adnan Farooqui May 4, 2017

General Electric announced an interesting product in December last year. It’s a new circular lamp that has Alexa baked in. The company said that the product shown at that time was a prototype model and a lot of details about it were not revealed, including when it would be available and how much it would cost. GE has now revealed that information today so read after the jump if you’re interested in a lamp with Alexa in it.

This product is going to be called C by GE SOL, it’s like if GE held an internal contest for deciding the most confusing names for a product and then deciding to go with the best option. Apparently, the name is meant to signify that the device is part of GE’s C lineup of smart lights.

The lamp comes with Alexa baked in so it’s capable of doing anything and everything that you can ask Alexa to do. The lamp can also double as a clock by placing indicators where the hour and minute hands are supposed to go. Users can also configure the lamp to use a cooler or warmer light.

The company is going to sell the C by GE SOL for $199.99 when shipments begin in September. Interested customers can start placing pre-orders today at a discounted price of $159.99.

GE Alexa Lamp Price And Availability Confirmed , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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