Alexa is no longer "new." The smart-tech revolution is now in full swing, and Amazon Echo is at the heart of it. According to Edison Research, nearly 40 million people own voice-activated speakers, which is about one in six U.S. adults. Echo changed the game, and millions of households have integrated Alexa into their daily lives. For many technophiles, it's not a question of whether to invest in smart technology, but what kind.
Here are 21 commands that even seasoned Echo users may not know. Many of them are useful, some are fun, and others give the illusion that Alexa is as cognizant as we are. Alexa is no longer "new." The smart-tech revolution is now in full swing, and Amazon Echo is at the heart of it. According to Edison Research, nearly 40 million people own voice-activated speakers, which is about one in six U.S. adults.
The second-generation Echo Show is better than the first in every respect, ranging from its industrial design to its audio and video performance. It's the best smart display today, but that could change as soon as tomorrow if Google announces its own smart display and it turns out to be great. Sonos, meanwhile, still has the best smart speakers for music (the Sonos One and the Sonos Beam). While the second-generation Echo Show is powered by the same system-on-chip as the first-generation Echo Show (a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8350), the new model is outfitted with a larger, higher-resolution display; better loudspeakers; a more attractive enclosure; an integrated ZigBee smart home hub; and even the option for hardwired ethernet. Alexa is also becoming a better digital assistant, a development that will improve every Echo model.
That's a conclusion many shoppers will reach when spotting the JBL Link 300, the mid-range of JBL's Google Assistant-powered Link smart speaker lineup. Its $250 price tag makes for a reasonable port of entry for anyone looking to build a voice-activated, multi-room audio and home-control system on a miserly budget. And since this speaker also supports Google's Chromecast audio technology, the Link 300--and any of its bigger or smaller siblings--can be paired with any other speaker that supports Chromecast. Delivering JBL's signature "California studio monitor" sound--a warm, realistically fleshed out soundstage and presence with soul and the stamina to crank--the Link 300 outperformed the vaunted Sonos One in many of my listening tests. Side Effects), to the rich soloing sonorities of Yo-Yo Ma (Six Evolutions--Bach: Cello Suites) and the elegantly spare acoustic jazz sessions (think Sarah Vaughan, Hank Garland, Bobby Timmons, and Melody Gardot) that are stock-in-trade on TSF Jazz--Paris, my favorite compare/contrast streaming channel.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is infusing with MESH technologies to breathe new life into the already multi-billion dollar Internet of Things (IoT) market. IoT has been one of the more prominent buzzwords in technology over the past several years, but it has been taken to new heights through AI and MESH technology, allowing interconnected devices to operate at a higher rate of efficiency and thus open the door to more consumers and businesses to leverage IoT platforms in their everyday lives. According to GrowthEnabler and Market & Markets Analysis, the IoT industry will experience a CAGR of 28.5% through 2020 on its way to nearly $460 billion in revenues. The biggest factor influencing growth will be increased adoption as it becomes increasingly apparent just how much it can transform everyday tasks and overall lifestyles Active tech companies in the markets this week include Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTC:GOPH), Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLK), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Aptiv PLC (NYSE:APTV), International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM). Gopher Protocol Inc. (OTCQB:GOPH) BREAKING NEWS: Gopher Protocol, a company specializing in the creation of Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence enabled mobile technologies, is pleased to announce that it has assembled its MESH system hardware and communication product specifications as part of phase 2; MESH implementation phase.
You've just noticed a great price on an Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini smart speaker. The prices are intended to make them impulse purchases, because both Amazon and Google are desperate to get their foot in the door of your home. Voice assistants and smart home automation are expected to be the next big thing in tech, and both companies know that once you experience the convenience of a smart speaker in one room, you're likely to want it in others. Before making a purchase, you really should do your homework. It all comes down to the hardware, the capabilities of their digital assistants, and the way they can do things such as play music and control other smart devices in your home.
When you consider the popularity of Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa and the company's Fire TV streamers, it was really just a matter of time before the folks at the Everything Store decided to mash them up. In fact, Amazon already has, sort of: The company started down that path last year by giving Echo devices the ability to pass commands along to a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. With the new Fire TV Cube, though, Amazon is trying to break down the wall between Alexa and the content you want to see altogether. Now, we've only had our Fire TV Cube for about two days, and that's just not enough time to really put the streaming box through its paces -- instead, read on for our first impressions about Amazon's new hardware and the virtual assistant that will ultimately make or break it. The Fire TV Cube itself is a glossy black box that, aside from the blue ring that lights up when Alexa is listening to you, looks about as nondescript as a bit of home theater kit can be.
Artificial intelligence might conjure images of a robotic Haley Joel Osment in Spielberg's film AI, or it may make you think of Data from Star Trek. Yet the impact of artificial intelligence in everyday life is more understated and far-reaching than science fiction might suggest. Artificial intelligence has the potential to offer $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. You already encounter it every day. Think of all those times Amazon recommended a book to you or Netflix suggested a film or TV show.
VTech might be synonymous with cordless phones in most people's minds, but the company has also put out a succession of reliable baby monitors, many of which we've reviewed. It's not a big leap from baby cams to security cams, and the VC931 HD Pan and Tilt Home Monitoring Camera shows the company is as adept at helping you keep your house as safe as your other precious assets. The VC931's ball-shaped design takes its cue from vintage webcams, a look home security monitors have moved away from over the last few years. Despite its somewhat dated appearance, this camera is packed with the features security DIYers prize: motion detection, night vision, two-way talk, and even a sleep mode for privacy. You also have your choice of video storage options--you can save video directly to the camera or to the cloud.
As smart speakers gained popularity, a big name in the space seemed to have fallen by the wayside. Sonos pioneered a high-quality connected home-theater speaker system in the early 2000s. In 2016, it began making a shift to support streaming music services on its products. It shipped its first assistant-laden speaker, the Alexa-enabled Sonos One, in 2017, but has now taken that idea even further. The company, on Wednesday, unveiled Beam, a smart sound bar, which will soon be virtual assistant agnostic: It's shipping with Alexa, gaining Siri control with AirPlay 2 in July, and adding Google Assistant compatibility later this year.