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Amazon Echo Show 15 review: Is all that screen space worth it for $249.99?

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Amazon's latest Echo device isn't designed to blend in with your surroundings. In fact, it's expected to be a center of attention. The Echo Show 15, available now for $249.99, is the tech giant's latest Alexa-enabled smart device, with features found on its vast line of smart speakers. Only this Echo has a touchscreen. It's 15.6 inches, which means it commands a notable presence in your home.

Amazon Echo Show 15 review: A big device for a small audience


Amazon's Echo Show line has been around for four years, but until now the screen sizes have ranged from five to 10 inches, making it ideal as a multipurpose bedside alarm or a companion screen in the kitchen. The 15-inch Echo Show 15, available now, is by far the largest size Amazon has attempted, and it's also notably the first Echo Show you can mount on your wall. Because of that, the company is betting some people will use it not just as a digital photo frame, but also as a family bulletin board. If that's specifically what you want out of a smart display, the Echo Show 15 could be a niche but very fitting match. Somehow, though, we suspect that's not most people.

Amazon Alexa transforms into Santa Claus for Christmas

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, can transform into Santa Claus especially for this festive season, the tech giant has revealed. Users can say'Alexa, enable Hey Santa' to hear him tell a story, sing a song, crack a joke, set a timer and more, as if he's speaking down the phone from the North Pole. The fun festive feature is sure to be particularly exciting for youngsters who want proof that Father Christmas exists in the run-up to the big day. Users can also ask Alexa a range of Christmas-themed questions such as'Alexa, where is Santa?' or'Alexa, how many days until Christmas?', The new Alexa feature lets families interact with Santa over the festive season, as if he's speaking down the phone from the North Pole'We've introduced Santa, a new personality for Alexa that will bring Christmas cheer for the whole family,' Amazon said.

Amazon Alexa can now listen out for beeping appliances

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant, can now listen out for running water and beeping home appliances, the firm has revealed. The tech giant has added both'sound detectors' to Alexa Routines – sequences of tasks linked to Alexa that users can program as a shortcut. It means Alexa can recognise the individual sounds and send a notification to the user via their device so they can attend to them. If users want Alexa to detect the ping of a tumble dryer when it finishes a spin, for example, they can set up a routine for Alexa to send an alert. Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant, can now listen out for running water and beeping appliances, the firm has revealed.

Amazon smart home focuses on artificial intelligence


Over the course of an hour on Tuesday, September 28, Amazon rolled out a raft of new smart home products, including an Alexa-powered robot, a wall-mountable Echo smart display, an interactive video phone for kids, the first video doorbell from its Blink division, new home-security products from its Ring subsidiary, and more. Artificial intelligence--Amazon calls it "ambient" intelligence--was a common thread running through all these new products. The company says this will enable its disparate products to work together seamlessly to deliver an experience that's more than the sum of its parts. But with a nod to consumers' growing privacy concerns, each presenter emphasized the ways in which Amazon's development teams had focused on reducing their products' reliance on cloud computing, pushing more processing power to the device itself to keep information local and within the users' control. Here's a quick recap of the most significant new product announcements, along with links to our deeper dives.

Amazon's new robot Astro is deemed a 'disaster that's not ready for release' by its designers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The £240 ($250) Alexa-powered Echo Show 15 device boasts a 15.6-inch display that you can mount to your wall or place on your counter. Users can hang it horizontally or vertically on a wall, like a photo frame, as it displays how-to videos, recipes from the web or shows streamed from Netflix and Spotify. 'We think of it [Echo Show 15] as a kitchen TV, but much, much smarter,' said Miriam Daniel, vice president of Alexa and Echo devices. Echo Show 15 can display a live-stream from your smart doorbell, streaming services interfaces, personalized sticky notes to members of the family and much more. If you've opted to hang it from the wall and want to disable the display, users can ask Alexa to show a photo frame, and Echo Show 15 just shows photos, so it blends into the background. 'Echo Show 15 brings everything that makes your household tick into one place,' said Tom Taylor, senior vice president, Amazon Alexa.

Amazon's $250 Echo Show 15 is a smart display for your wall


The Echo Show 15 is powered by Amazon's AZ2 Neural Edge processor, which powers a lot of the device's on-board machine learning and computer vision …

Everything Amazon announced at its event, including a creepy robot


Amazon's Echo and Ring product lines have been steadily creeping into our homes for years now, watching and listening to our every move as we occasionally ask them to turn on some music or give us a weather forecast. It's only going to get weirder from here. On Tuesday, Amazon held a livestream for press to show off its latest hardware products. They run the gamut from normal and convenient to bizarre and even straight up creepy. Here's everything Amazon showed off on Tuesday.

Here's everything Amazon announced at its September hardware event


Amazon held its annual fall hardware event on Tuesday. It's too bad the company didn't stream the proceedings to the public because it was jam-packed with announcements. We saw everything from new Echo devices to an Alexa-powered robot. But worry not, we have you covered. Here's everything the company announced today.

Amazon launches its first wall-mounted speaker at unveiling event

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Tech giant Amazon unveiled several new products on Tuesday, including a $1,500 autonomous robot that can monitor a person's home for intruders. Undoubtedly the cutest product making an appearance on Tuesday was its Alexa-powered robot, called Astro – although it's available to purchase by invite for people in the U.S., meaning interested customers have to sign up to have a chance to buy. The $1,450 robot uses intelligent motion to check-in on your home while you're away and give alerts about any disturbances. It can move autonomously around your home, navigate to check in on specific areas, show a live view of rooms through the Astro app, or send alerts if it detects an unrecognized person. Astro uses its digital eyes on its rotating screen, body movements, and expressive tones to communicate, according to Amazon.