Articles about echo

Apple pulls massive HomeKit chip U-turn to keep up with Amazon Echo and Google Home

Analysis Apple has made a huge reversal in its HomeKit smart-home technology, in an effort to keep up with Amazon and Google. The iPhone giant has insisted for years that any third parties wishing to create HomeKit-compatible products have to include a special Apple-specified chipset in order to authenticate, connect and transfer …

Boffins throw Amazon Alexa on the rack to extract hidden clues

Last year, police in Bentonville, Arkansas, investigating the death of Victor Collins, demanded that Amazon turn over audio recordings that may have been made by an Amazon Echo device in his home. Amazon initially resisted the warrant, but in March, James Bates, charged with Collins' murder, consented [PDF] to the release of …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Jul 2017

Amazon 'mulls' deeper health tech invasion with stealth skunkworks

Analysis Amazon is gearing up to take advantage of the burgeoning market for personal healthcare technology, but has been warned not to underestimate the power of the incumbent enterprise market in hospitals. The e‑commerce giant has been running a skunkworks lab called 1492 that’s dedicated to healthcare tech, and is advertising for …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Jul 2017
Alexa photo via Shutterstock

Amazon mumbles into its coffee when asked: Will you give app devs people's Alexa chats?

Amazon is apparently considering a plan to provide app developers with transcripts of people's conversations with their Alexa boxes. We're told the Bezos Bunch is mulling whether to change their developer policy to give the third-party coders who create Alexa "skills" app software the raw transcripts of what users say to Alexa …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2017

Internet of snitches: anyone who can sniff 'Thing' traffic knows what you're doing

Princeton boffins reckon the Internet of woefully insecure things yields sensitive information about connected homes with nothing more than a bit of network traffic analysis. The problem is that single devices have very individualistic traffic profiles – a thermostat behaves differently from a lighting controller, both of …
Woman smiling on phone/. photo by shutterstock

Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Amazon's voice-controlled assistant Alexa and its Echo devices now sport the ability to take your phone calls – so long as you don't ever plan on ignoring calls from anyone. The Alexa Calling feature, announced by Amazon earlier this week, allows Amazon Echo devices and the Alexa app to place and accept phone calls to and from …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017

Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles

It's time to let Benjamin Franklin know that there is a third inevitability in life. To death and taxes, we must add advertisements. Despite a backlash against Google in March for adding a movie ad to its Google Home voice-assistant [surely you mean "invite to our partner to be our guest and share its tale"? – ed.], and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2017

Amazon announces new Echo just as Microsoft's first Cortana-powered clone breaks cover

Amazon has announced the first Echo to feature a built-in display – one of 2017's stranger gadgets – just as Microsoft's Echo clone broke cover. The Harmon Kardon Invoke is a voice-enabled 360 speaker powered by Microsoft's Cortana. The news spoiled the announcement of Amazon's new Echo Show, which loosely resembles an iPad …

Amazon touts Echo voice-recog tech to world's gizmo makers

In an effort to cement its position in the voice recognition market, Amazon has opened up its Alexa technology to third parties. The e-retailer is offering its seven-microphone array and voice processing tech to hardware makers who want to include voice activation in their products, but don't want to spend the enormous time …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Apr 2017
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Amazon relinquishes data from Echo that could have dropped eaves on a killing

We'll have to wait a little longer for a test case on the use of data collected by Amazon's eavesdropper Echo in criminal investigations. Authorities in Arkansas served a search warrant on Amazon to obtain the data from an Amazon Echo device in a murder that took place in the state in November 2015. Police believe the murder …
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Amazon goes to court to stop US murder cops turning Echoes into Big Brother house spies

Police in the US believe an Amazon Echo overheard the murder of a bloke found dead floating in a hot tub. All the cops want is a copy of any audio recorded by the personal assistant, conveniently stored in Amazon's cloud. One small problem: Amazon is still refusing to hand over any recordings, and has gone to court to shoo …
Iain Thomson, 23 Feb 2017
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Awoogah, enterprise bods: Tintri recruits Echo Alexa speechbot

Listen up. Storage array vendor Tintri has a video demonstrating that speech-recognizing Amazon Echo's Alexa can be used to trigger array system management ops. Is this a profound industry first, ushering in a whole new sysadmin landscape, or just eye candy-style gimmickry? Tintri has already demo’d a Slack chatbot management …
Chris Mellor, 3 Feb 2017

OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?

Analysis One of the oddest things about this week's Google hardware launch was to constantly hear the same phrase over and over again from everyone in the same room: "OK Google." Why? Because the ad giant has chosen that phrase to wake up its digital assistant, whether on the new Pixel phone or the new Google Home. OK Google. OK Google …

Do AI chat bots need a personality bypass – or will we only trust gabber 'droids with character?

Machine communication is an area generating much excitement in AI. The ability to give machines a voice and personality has been the subject of many sci-fi films, and the push in natural language processing has brought that idea closer to reality. All the big AI players are investing in some sort of chatbot. Google just …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Sep 2016
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Is there an Echo in here? An Echo in here? Good, says Sonos. Good

Listen up – Sonos is letting people control the music streamed to their speakers by giving voice commands to Amazon Echo and its Alexa personal assistant. Sonos is also developing Spotify integration, allowing folks to control their speakers from Spotify, plus there's an Airbnb Sonos listening initiative. Today, Sonos users …
Chris Mellor, 30 Aug 2016

Move over Amazon Alexa – Samsung's hot assistant bot Otto's trying to build an empire

The success of Amazon's voice-controlled Echo speaker has not gone unnoticed. At Samsung's annual Developer Conference in San Francisco, the company showcased a prototype "digital personal assistant" called Otto as a way to highlight its newest technologies. Otto, the company was quick to stress, is a "reference design" and …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Apr 2016
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Sonos' chief product officer takes a hike after two years

Perhaps he disagreed with the voice-control strategy? Whatever the reason, Sonos’ high-profile chief product officer, Marc Whitten, has streamed right out of the company he joined two years ago, in March 2014. Whitten goes after Sonos restructuring and layoffs announced a couple of weeks ago, as Sonos CEO John Macfarlane …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2016
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Streaming speaker biz Sonos lays offs workers as it finds its voice

Analysis Hi-Fi Wi-Fi streaming speaker supplier Sonos is in a hole and sees Amazon Alexa-style voice control as the way out. The firm has decided to develop its own voice-control system, and this is going to cost a great deal of money. CEO John Macfarlane says: "Voice is a big change for us, so we’ll invest what’s required to bring it …
Chris Mellor, 14 Mar 2016

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