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Navigating Amazon's increasingly complicated collection of Alexa-enabled devices

Popular Science

Unlike a physical remote, however, the Fire TV Cube requires you to ask Alexa to perform your home theater task with your voice. You can shout to the Cube's built-in microphones, or press the Alexa button on the Fire remote (which is the same one that comes with other Fire TV devices) and talk quietly. Whichever option you choose, however, you have to talk to give commands--you don't get the typical array of buttons you'd get with a full universal remote. In some ways, these commands are more versatile than buttons on a remote.. For instance, it can control cable boxes from some providers like Spectrum, which allows you to ask Alexa to do things like turn on AMC, change the volume, or open a specific streaming service like Hulu or Netflix.

Oprah will be Alexa's first celebrity-voiced shopping assistant


Alexa is getting its first celebrity voice. To go along with the Oprah's Favorite Things storefront on Amazon, users of Alexa-enabled devices can have Oprah herself guide them through this year's 102 favorite things. To do so, you'll just have to say, "Alexa, let's shop Oprah's Favorite Things." Oprah will then describe one of the products on her list and tell you why she recommends it. If you want to buy it, say "yes," if you don't, say "no," and Oprah will move on to another item.

First Alexa-enabled non-Amazon device

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

It runs Amazon's Alexa Voice service. For the first time, Amazon's voice-activated virtual assistant Alexa is available on a non-Amazon device. Invoxia, a Paris-based developer of speakers and telecommunication devices, on Thursday announced that Amazon's Alexa Voice Service (AVS) is now available on the company's radio-like Triby. It's conceived as kitchen device that combines music, messaging and communication functionality. Prior to this Invoxia was most known for its teleconferencing devices.

Now Every Alexa Device Should Know Which One You're Yelling At


Keeping multiple voice assistants in your home can lead to the occasional misfire, causing a far-flung device in the bedroom to react while you're attempting to extract the weather forecast from the one in your living room. Amazon addressed this quirk with its own Echo devices in 2016 and now it's bringing that improved listening functionality to all third-party devices. Every Alexa-enabled gadget should finally be on the same page when you ask a question in your assistant-laden home of the future. Amazon's discretionary listening feature, Echo Spatial Perception (ESP), enables Echo devices to determine which device is closest to the user when multiple speakers hear the same voice command. Amazon has made the feature available to third-party devices in the past, although those participating devices required additional software, making it a toss-up whether that non-Echo device you just bought supported the feature.