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Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)

#artificialintelligence

The new $130 Echo Show 8 takes the top rank as the greatest Alexa smart display, with the Echo Show 10 being more novelty than necessity (that revolving screen doesn't support the $250 price tag). The second iteration of Amazon's mid-sized smart speaker with a display, which was released this month, combines some of the greatest features from the Show 10 (13-megapixel camera, digital zoom, and security camera functions) and compresses them into a more manageable size. The Echo Show 8 has a small enough footprint to sit on a bedside table or a kitchen counter. The Show 8 (available in Charcoal and Glacier White) offers the most bang (and screen size) for your buck, with a virtually identical design to its predecessor (same display, same speakers), but with a bit more behind the hood, including a new octo-core processing and a beefed-up camera. You can still watch shows, listen to music, control your smart home, send out announcements to your family, and check in on friends and family, but you can now zoom with a 13-megapixel camera.


How to enable Sound Detection for Alexa Routines

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Amazon's Echo smart speakers and displays can listen for more than just your wake word--devices like the Echo Dot and Echo Show 5 can also keep an ear out for everyday household noises like barking dogs, appliance beeps, and even your snoring spouse (to name a few). The idea is to help turn your home's everyday sounds into triggers for your smart devices to make your life a little easier. Get deals and shopping advice delivered straight to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the experts at Reviewed.


Alexa crashes leaving users across the UK unable to get a response from their Echo speakers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa has crashed across Europe this morning -- leaving some frustrated users unable to turn off their alarms. According to Down Detector, a website that monitors such issues, there have been more than 8,000 reports of problems with the smart device. Issues first began to surface at around 07:00 GMT today. When issuing voice commands to Alexa devices, users are either being met with silence or have received messages saying'something went wrong'. Amazon's smart assistant Alexa appears to have crashed across Europe this morning -- leaving some frustrated users unable to turn off their alarms It appears the issue is affecting Amazon's range of Echo speakers as well as the retail giant's Fire TV Stick and Amazon Alexa app for smartphones.


Alexa Together: A new service for helping seniors: Talking Tech podcast

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. Welcome back to Talking Tech. If you used Amazon's Alexa, I will only be saying this name once by the way, because I don't want to trigger anyone who has an Echo speaker, but if you've used Amazon's digital voice assistant, obviously it's got many different ways it can help you play a song, set a reminder, set an alarm. Now Amazon's digital assistant has a new role, helping seniors and caregivers.


Everything Announced at Amazon Alexa Live 2021

#artificialintelligence

Amazon Alexa is one of today's go-to voice assistants. Available on hundreds of devices, from smart speakers to displays and thermostats, Alexa grows more popular every day, with over 100 million device owners and 900,000 registered developers producing Alexa-powered products. Speaking of the latter, Alexa Live 2021 has finally arrived. This year's free virtual symposium is a great place to learn about all of the new developer tools and services that Alexa will be capable of in the near future. Here's everything announced at this year's event.


Amazon rolls out male voice for its smart speakers

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon has started to roll out a male version of its smart assistant, called Ziggy, as an alternative to Alexa. Users of Amazon smart speakers in the US now have the option to choose from either Alexa or Ziggy when they're saying a vocal command. They can simply say'Alexa, change your voice' to hear the male voice coming out of their speaker, or go to settings in the Alexa app. There's a short snippet of Ziggy's voice – which has a generic but robotic-sounding American accent – to listen to here. Amazon's smart assistant powers the Echo speakers, including the spherical fourth generation Echo released last autumn (pictured) Note that this option is only available for US users for now.


Current Echo smart speakers and displays will support Matter, Amazon says

PCWorld

Matter, the open-source smart home standard that promises to unite Amazon's, Apple's, and Google's smart home platforms, is one of the most exciting developments that we're tracking in the smart home space. Now comes word that most Amazon Echo speakers will receive firmware updates enabling them to support Matter. The announcement, made during Amazon's Alexa Live developer conference today, means that almost all Alexa-powered Echo devices will be able to control Matter-enabled smart products, a development that will give the upcoming standard a major boost. All current and many legacy Echo speakers will get the Matter update, Amazon says. Indeed, only three older Echo speakers won't work with Matter: the first-generation Echo and Echo Dot speakers, as well as the Amazon Tap, a long-discontinued portable Bluetooth speaker with Alexa on board.


Amazon says most Echo speakers will support the Matter smart home platform

Engadget

Amazon's support for the Matter smart home platform is coming into focus. Previously known as Project Chip (Connected Home over IP), Matter comes from the Connectivity Standards Alliance, a group made up of device manufacturers like Amazon, Google, Apple and Samsung. It's meant to standardize voice assistant support across multiple devices, as well as to make it easier to connect smart home gadgets to your home network. During its Alexa Live developer presentation, Amazon said that practically every plug-in Echo speaker will support Matter, save for the first-generation Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Tap, The Verge reports. It's unclear when the Echo support will actually arrive, but at this point we're expecting Matter devices to launch later this year. Google has already declared strong commitment for the platform -- so much so that we've speculated it could help unite the fragmented smart home ecosystem.


Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd gen) review: The smallest Echo display gets a modest upgrade

PCWorld

Next, you can decide whether to allow other members of your household to view a live screen of the Echo Show's camera (more on that in a little bit) and whether to enable Amazon's Sidewalk neighborhood network (ditto). Finally, the display will also run a few free Prime trials by you before Alexa takes you on a brief tour. I've already covered the controls and button along the top edge of the Echo Show 5, but I'm going to highlight a couple of them: the mic mute button and the camera shutter. When you press mic mute, the Echo Show will both disable the microphone as well as electrically shut off the camera, while three visual indicators--a red line at the bottom of the screen, a "mute" icon in the corner of the screen, and a red light on the mic mute button itself--will let you know that Alexa can't see or hear you.


Amazon is offering two Echo Dots for $50 in early Prime Day deal

Engadget

Doubling up on Amazon's Echo speakers has its perks. You can pair them together to get stereo sound or use them to create a Home Theatre setup for your Fire TV. To get you to multiply, Amazon is offering two Echo Dots for $50 -- which is how much you'd normally pay for one -- as part of an early Prime Day sale. If you're signed up to Prime, you can grab the discount by using the code PDDOT2PK at checkout. Those seeking even bigger sound, should check out the $120 deal on two Echo speakers, activated with the ECHOPRIME code and also exclusive to Prime members.