THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Amazon beefs up Echo line-up and Alexa skills

Amazon has introduced a handful of new home assistant devices powered by its Alexa voice-commanded artificial intelligence, ramping up its lineup competing against challenges from Google and others.


By AFP

Saturday 14 October 2017, 12:00PM


Amazon’s new Echo Spot has a circular screen.

Amazon’s new Echo Spot has a circular screen.

 The US tech giant unveiled upgrades to its Echo speakers which showcase the company’s digital assistant.

The freshened line-up of Echo devices included a redesigned model with improved sound, along with an Echo Plus model.

Among the new features was the ability to make free voice calls to home phones as well as to other Echo devices.

Along with fortifying its hardware lineup ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season, the Seattle-based internet titan also announced that Alexa smarts will be built into BMW and Mini automobiles by the middle of next year.

“Voice is a big part of the future, especially in cars,” Alex automotive vice president Ned Curic said in a release.

“Using your voice to enjoy content and interact with your car makes a great driving experience even better.”

Carmakers Ford and Volkswagen early this year announced plans to infuse models with Alexa virtual assistant technology.

People in BMW or Mini cars will be able to ask Alexa for directions, make call, control smart homes, check news, and more while motoring along, the companies said in a release.

Splash Beach Club

“By making this step and integrating Alexa into our models from 2018, BMW and MINI will form a more intrinsic part of our customers’ digital lifestyles,” said BMW senior vice president of digital services Dieter May.

“Voice control first featured in BMW Group cars many years ago, and we are now enhancing its functionality by adding a digital ecosystem.”

Alexa is up against digital assistant software fielded by Apple, Google and Microsoft as they internet giants invest in a future where computing power is ubiquitous and voice-commanded.

On the hardware side, Amazon introduced a new small, round Echo Spot with a circular screen for displaying digital content.

“Echo Spot combines the popular small design of Echo Dot, the display of Echo Show , and the features you love about Alexa,” senior vice president Tom Taylor said.

“See the weather, watch video news briefings, glance at your alarm clock, check on your kids, and more.”

Echo Spot can be ordered at the online retailer’s website for US$130 (B4,300) and is set to begin shipping in December.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Aircraft maintenance worker, 22, dies after motorbike hits parked bus

What is the minimum distance a car, truck, bus is allowed to park before/after a curve?...(Read More)


Family matters: The mother-son team behind a new cafe in Chalong

It might be helpful if you told us where this cafe is as I'd like to try it....(Read More)


Aircraft maintenance worker, 22, dies after motorbike hits parked bus

Why are such "small" vehicles, a bus, allowed to park, on the road, no wonder people drive...(Read More)


Disaster officials issue fire warning as small wildfires break out

Wonder how much water is still available on Phuket island for fire fighting. Not mentioning the nee...(Read More)


Disaster officials issue fire warning as small wildfires break out

Now, from Chalong, at 16:15 hrs clearly to see on the hill, right below Big Buddha, rubbish burning,...(Read More)


Aircraft maintenance worker, 22, dies after motorbike hits parked bus

... Fearful, the driver of the parked bus fled the scene...leaving a bag with all his identifying ma...(Read More)


Election Commission issues defamation warning

Imagine if the developed world had such laws. This does raise the question as to how to campaign eff...(Read More)


Power outage in Thalang

And nothing change to country 4.0 doings. Continue the old way of keeping cables at poles, instead u...(Read More)


Phuket health officials, police unite to enforce Makha Bucha alcohol ban

Why not have all non-'budhists' wear arm-bands with a distinguishing logo? They could be giv...(Read More)


Taxi blames oil spill for wipeout

Unless one wants to live in a Police state, where everything and everyone is under surveillance, the...(Read More)