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Amazon gives voice-enabled speaker a screen, video calling

Boston Herald

Amazon is giving its voice-enabled Echo speaker a touch screen and video-calling capabilities as it competes with Google's efforts at bringing "smarts" to the home. The 7-inch screen on the new Echo Show enables the speaker to supplement voice responses with visuals and other information displays, similar to the Echo-like features offered on the Fire tablets and Fire TV streaming devices. That could mean extended weather forecasts, not just current conditions, or music lyrics to go with the song you're listening to. You can also call up cooking tutorials on YouTube, hands-free, while making dinner in the kitchen. You'll also be able to make hands-free video calls with other Echo Show devices or the Alexa app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices.


Amazon's Echo speaker gets a touch screen and video calling

Los Angeles Times

Amazon is giving its voice-enabled Echo speaker a touch screen and video-calling capabilities as it competes with Google's efforts at bringing "smarts" to the home. The 7-inch screen on the new Echo Show enables the speaker to supplement voice responses with visuals and other information displays, similar to the Echo-like features offered on the Fire tablets and Fire TV streaming devices. That could mean extended weather forecasts, not just current conditions. It could mean lyrics to go with the song you're listening to. You also could call up cooking tutorials on YouTube, hands-free, while making dinner in the kitchen.


What's next for Amazon Alexa? We're about to find out

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

FILE - This file photo provided by Amazon shows an Amazon Echo Show on display in a living room setting. With Echo Show, Amazon has given its voice-enabled Echo speaker a touch screen and video-calling capabilities as it competes with Google's efforts at bringing "smarts" to the home. Amazon has been ramping up efforts to get more people to shop using the Alexa voice assistant on Echo speakers and other Amazon devices. It seems rather doubtful that Amazon will bring out its own branded smartphone again anytime soon, as I wrote in this piece yesterday. We all know how the Amazon Fire Phone introduced in 2014 was a high-profile flop, relegated to the scrap heap a year later.


Amazon loses its head of Fire TV, Kindle and Luna to Unity

Engadget

After a five-year stint, Marc Whitten -- the man in charge of Fire TV, the Kindle and more -- has stepped down as Amazon's VP of entertainment devices and services. News of Whitten's departure was spotted yesterday by consultant Matthew Ball on Twitter (via The Verge), and Whitten himself said in a subsequent tweet noting that he is now "just digging in" as SVP and GM of game engine maker Unity's Create division. As it turns out, though, Whitten actually left decamped for Unity a few weeks ago. CEO John Riccitiello confirmed the former Amazon exec was joining during the company's Q4 earnings call, calling him an "incredible leader in the world of tech and entertainment" and noting that, because the company has so many projects in the works, bringing Whitten onboard is meant to help Unity "map and make sure that the opportunity is met with the ability to realize it." Prior to his tenure at Amazon, Whitten served as chief product officer at Sonos, where he helped usher Trueplay and the well-reviewed Play:5 speaker to market.


Shopping by voice on Amazon or Google device could cost you

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

A new feature allows users to ask Amazon's voice assistant Alexa to play "baby making jazz music." FILE - This file photo provided by Amazon shows models of the Amazon Echo Show. With Echo Show, Amazon has given its voice-enabled Echo speaker a touch screen and video-calling capabilities as it competes with Google's efforts at bringing "smarts" to the home. Amazon has been ramping up efforts to get more people to shop using the Alexa voice assistant on Echo speakers and other Amazon devices. NEW YORK -- In the name of convenience, Amazon and Walmart are pushing people to shop by just talking to a digital assistant.