Amazon Echo is half off on Prime Day: Here’s what you can do with it

The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot, from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company’s product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesAmazon is heavily discounting its Amazon Echo products for Prime Day, which runs through 2:59 a.m. Wednesday ET. Before we get started, make sure you have the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or Android. Call people with EchoYou can use the Amazon E


The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot, from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company’s product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesAmazon is heavily discounting its Amazon Echo products for Prime Day, which runs through 2:59 a.m. Wednesday ET. Before we get started, make sure you have the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or Android. Call people with EchoYou can use the Amazon E
Amazon Echo is half off on Prime Day: Here’s what you can do with it Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, echo, app, half, button, alexa, menu, ask, heres, timer, day, say, uber, amazon, prime


Amazon Echo is half off on Prime Day: Here's what you can do with it

The new Amazon.com Inc. Echo Spot, from left, Echo, Echo Plus, and Fire TV devices sit on display during the company’s product reveal launch event in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon is heavily discounting its Amazon Echo products for Prime Day, which runs through 2:59 a.m. Wednesday ET. The cheapest model, the Echo Dot, is only $22 (it’s usually $50), while the full-sized model is only $50 (it’s usually $100). If you’re on the fence, realize that you can do a lot more with the Echo than just asking Alexa the weather. You can use an Echo for many things, including calling people, booking an Uber, ordering stuff from Amazon and even setting it up to double as an in-home intercom if you own several devices. Before we get started, make sure you have the Amazon Alexa app for iPhone or Android. You’ll be using that app to take advantage of some of the tricks in this guide. Here is a bunch of fun things you can do with the Echo.

Call people with Echo

You can use the Amazon Echo to call phone numbers or anyone with an Amazon Echo. To call a phone number, you’ll first want to make sure that person is in your Alexa address book. To check: Open the Amazon app

Tap the menu button then tap “Contacts.” Once you’ve confirmed someone is in your address book, you can call them by asking Alexa to call a specific person’s phone or Echo. Here are the commands to try. (I put my own name in, but swap it out for the person you’re trying to call): “Call Todd Haselton’s Mobile.”

Or you can call your contact’s Echo by saying “Call Todd Haselton’s Echo.”

Send voice messages

You can send voice messages to friends or family with an Echo, too. It’s kind of like leaving a voicemail, but your friends will get an alert on their Echo that they have a new voice message. Then, when they see the alert, they can ask their Echo to play it. To send a voice message: Say “Alexa, send a voice message to Todd Haselton.”

Speak your message.

Alexa will confirm you want to send the message.

Say “Yes.”

If you’ve received a message, say “Alexa, listen to my messages.”

Use your Echo as an in-home intercom

Source: Amazon

If you have multiple Echos around your house, you can use them as an in-home intercom system. You might want to do this to call the kids down to dinner, for example. Here’s how to do that: Say “Alexa make an announcement.”

Speak your announcement by saying something like “Hey everyone, dinner’s ready!”

Alexa will make an announcement to all of the Echos in your house with the message you spoke.

Book an Uber or Lyft with your Echo

If you’re at home and want to get a ride somewhere, you can ask Alexa to get you an Uber or a Lyft. You need to install either the Uber or Lyft skill first. Here’s how to book a ride with Echo. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the app.

Tap “Skills & Games.”

Search for Uber or Lyft.

Tap Enable Skill and link your Lyft or Uber account.

Now ask Lyft or Uber for a ride by speaking “Alexa, ask Lyft for a ride” or “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.”

Alexa will tell you how far the nearest Lyft driver or Uber driver is. You can then confirm you’d like a ride.

Order something from Amazon by voice

You can use your Echo to order goods from Amazon. Sometimes, like during Black Friday, Amazon even offers exclusive deals through the Echo. To order stuff from Alexa: Say something like, “Alexa order soap.”

Alexa will begin to list items that you might be interested in, including products from previous orders, and the price. Say “yes” to confirm you’d like to buy that item, or “no” to hear another item Alexa recommends. Tell Alexa to stop if you don’t want to hear more recommendations.

You can also order specific goods by speaking something like “Alexa, order me an Amazon Echo Plus.” Alexa will confirm the price before you decide to buy it or not.

Get a ‘flash briefing’ of news you care about

You can get a flash briefing from certain news sites you follow, including CNBC, the AP and BBC. Customize your Flash Briefing by doing this: Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the screen.

Choose “Settings.”

Tap “Flash Briefing.”

Toggle the news sites you want to hear news from and tap “+” to add new sources.

Now, say, “Alexa play my flash briefing.”

Alexa will give you the highlight news from the sources you’ve picked.

Play shows on your Amazon Fire TV

The Amazon Fire TV Cube in a living room Amazon

If you own a Fire TV, you can connect your Echo to the Fire TV so that you can ask Alexa to play specific shows or movies. You don’t even have to touch the remote. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the page.

Tap “Settings.”

Choose “TV & Video.”

Tap the + button next to Fire TV.

Tap “Manage Devices.”

Choose “Link another device.”

Choose the Fire TV in your house you’d like to link your Echo with.

Tap “Continue.”

Choose the Alexa devices to link the Fire TV with. You can select multiple Echos.

Tap “Link Devices.”

Now speak a command like, “Play Man in the High Castle on Fire TV.”

Create a Routine

Set an Alexa routine to perform functions after your alarm is dismissed. Todd Haselton | CNBC

Amazon recently launched a new Alexa featured called “Routines.” When you speak a certain preset command, like “Alexa, good morning,” you can set Alexa to perform certain actions, like read you the weather, start playing music and tell you how long it will take you to get to work. Here’s how to create a custom morning routine, but you can change any of these steps to make something else, too. Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left of the app.

Tap “Routines.”

Tap the top button that says “When this happens.”

Choose “Voice.”

Enter the phrase “Good morning.”

Tap “Save.”

Now choose “Add action.”

Tap “Weather.”

Tap “Add.”

Now tap “Add action”

Tap “Traffic.”

Now tap “Add action” again.

Tap “Music.”

Enter in an artist, like Bruce Springsteen.

Choose your music provider, such as Spotify.

Tap Next.

Tap “Create.” Now, when you say “Alexa, good morning.” Alexa will tell you the local weather, how long it will take to get to work on your commute, and will then start playing Bruce Springsteen. (Note: if you haven’t set up your commute in the Alexa app yet, you can do this by going to settings > traffic.)

Get a sports update for your favorite teams

Alexa can give you a quick briefing on your favorite teams. First, you need to tell it the teams you follow. To do this: Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left.

Tap Settings.

Select “Sports.”

Tap Add a Team. ”

Search for your favorite team.

Tap “Save.”

Repeat until you’ve added all of the teams you follow.

Now, speak “Alexa, what’s my sports update?” Alexa will read off the latest scores and upcoming games for each of the teams you follow.

Set a reminder

You can ask Alexa to remind you to do things, too. Say “Alexa, remind me to get candied yams,” or whatever you need a reminder for.

Alexa will ask when it should remind you. Say something like “Today at 3 p.m.”

Alexa will confirm that it will remind you at the preset time.

You can view, edit or add reminders in the Alexa app by tapping the menu button and selecting “Reminders & Alarms.”

Set multiple timers

Alexa can be really useful in the kitchen, particularly if you want to set multiple timers at once. Maybe you need to set the oven to one timer and then create a second timer for something you have cooling in the fridge. To set multiple timers: Say, Alexa set an oven timer for 30 minutes.

Then speak another timer, like, “Set a fridge timer for 1 hour.”

You can check in a timer by saying “Alexa, what’s the oven timer?” Or “Alexa, what’s the fridge timer?”

Alexa will alert you when the specific timer has ended.

Play music in different rooms at the same time

In order: The Echo, the Echo Plus and the original Echo Todd Haselton | CNBC

If you have multiple Echos around the house, you can link them up to play music at the same time in different rooms. I have a “downstairs” group for my Echos, for example, where I have my living room, dining room and kitchen all play the same music. To do this: Open the Alexa app on your phone. Tap Devices icon on the bottom right. It looks like a little house.

Tap the + button on the top right.

Tap “Add Multi-Room Music speakers.”

Create a group name, such as “Downstairs.”

Choose the Echos you want to include in the group, then tap “Save.” Now, you can speak something like “Alexa, play Beethoven downstairs,” and Alexa will play music on the speakers in that group.

Delete your history

A list of the recordings I’ve spoken to Alexa. Todd Haselton | CNBC

Amazon keeps a recording of everything you ask Alexa. For privacy’s sake, you may want to delete those recordings regularly. You can do that two ways. To delete things you said recently, just say “Alexa, delete everything I said today,” or “Alexa, delete what I just said.” To delete everything at once, do this: Visit Amazon’s Device page

Select the menu button to the left of the Echo device you’d like to manage. (The menu button looks like three little dots stacked on top of one another.

Tap “Manage Voice Recordings”

Tap “Delete.”

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, echo, app, half, button, alexa, menu, ask, heres, timer, day, say, uber, amazon, prime


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Amazon keeps what you ask Alexa forever unless you delete it, so here’s how

Broadcom looks to old software names Symantec and Tibco for a… If the Symantec deal doesn’t get done, Broadcom has also been working on a deal to acquire an infrastructure software company and has considered Tibco, according to three…Technologyread more


Broadcom looks to old software names Symantec and Tibco for a… If the Symantec deal doesn’t get done, Broadcom has also been working on a deal to acquire an infrastructure software company and has considered Tibco, according to three…Technologyread more
Amazon keeps what you ask Alexa forever unless you delete it, so here’s how Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-05  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, software, forever, old, names, delete, unless, keeps, broadcom, alexa, amazon, tibco, symantec, working, looks, deal, ask, threetechnologyread, heres


Amazon keeps what you ask Alexa forever unless you delete it, so here's how

Broadcom looks to old software names Symantec and Tibco for a…

If the Symantec deal doesn’t get done, Broadcom has also been working on a deal to acquire an infrastructure software company and has considered Tibco, according to three…

Technology

read more


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-05  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, software, forever, old, names, delete, unless, keeps, broadcom, alexa, amazon, tibco, symantec, working, looks, deal, ask, threetechnologyread, heres


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Google Assistant is better than Alexa or Siri at helping patients with their drugs, study finds

In the race among tech companies to bring their voice recognition technology into the realm of personal medicine, Google is the furthest along, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal Nature Digital Medicine. Fossat and Palanica said they activated Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri and played individual audio clips from 46 English speaking people with the prompt, “Tell me about,” followed by the medication name. “We reviewed all the literature, and identified this


In the race among tech companies to bring their voice recognition technology into the realm of personal medicine, Google is the furthest along, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal Nature Digital Medicine. Fossat and Palanica said they activated Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri and played individual audio clips from 46 English speaking people with the prompt, “Tell me about,” followed by the medication name. “We reviewed all the literature, and identified this
Google Assistant is better than Alexa or Siri at helping patients with their drugs, study finds Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-19  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, better, research, alexa, drugs, technology, health, finds, information, google, study, patients, assistant, voice, fossat, helping, palanica, medication, siri


Google Assistant is better than Alexa or Siri at helping patients with their drugs, study finds

In the race among tech companies to bring their voice recognition technology into the realm of personal medicine, Google is the furthest along, according to a study published on Thursday in the journal Nature Digital Medicine.

Researchers Yan Fossat and Adam Palanica from lab company Klick Health in Toronto tested technology from Google, Amazon and Apple to gauge how well their services comprehended the 50 most commonly prescribed medicines and whether they could provide accurate information to users.

Fossat and Palanica said they activated Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple’s Siri and played individual audio clips from 46 English speaking people with the prompt, “Tell me about,” followed by the medication name.

“We reviewed all the literature, and identified this one area of medication comprehension that is under studied,” said Fossat, in an interview with CNBC. “It’s especially important to research these voice assistant tools, given the growing demand for them in health care.”

None of the leading voice-activated home speakers were specifically intended for the medical sector, but research indicates they’re increasingly being used for medication information and reminders, and there’s rising interest in the technology in patients’ homes, doctors’ offices and hospitals.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-19  Authors: christina farr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, better, research, alexa, drugs, technology, health, finds, information, google, study, patients, assistant, voice, fossat, helping, palanica, medication, siri


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Amazon’s $50 Fire tablet is bad — you can get a much better version for just $10 more

Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBCAmazon recently refreshed its $50 Fire 7 tablet with new colors, support for calling up Alexa by name and twice the storage as its previous version. What’s goodAmazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBCThe Fire 7 tablet is the smallest tablet Amazon sells that gives you access to Amazon’s services, like Audible, Amazon Photos, Alexa, Amazon Prime video and the Amazon store. You’d be hard pressed to find a better tablet for $50. Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Ha


Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBCAmazon recently refreshed its $50 Fire 7 tablet with new colors, support for calling up Alexa by name and twice the storage as its previous version. What’s goodAmazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBCThe Fire 7 tablet is the smallest tablet Amazon sells that gives you access to Amazon’s services, like Audible, Amazon Photos, Alexa, Amazon Prime video and the Amazon store. You’d be hard pressed to find a better tablet for $50. Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Ha
Amazon’s $50 Fire tablet is bad — you can get a much better version for just $10 more Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-10  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, todd, better, amazons, bad, hd, price, buy, tablet, version, youre, alexa, haselton, 50, amazon


Amazon's $50 Fire tablet is bad — you can get a much better version for just $10 more

Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBC

Amazon recently refreshed its $50 Fire 7 tablet with new colors, support for calling up Alexa by name and twice the storage as its previous version. It’s so affordable I hopped into a Best Buy and picked one up last week. But, after testing it for a few days, I can’t recommend it for anybody. Instead, if you’re interested in Amazon’s Fire tablets, which are generally quite good for the price, buy the $60 Fire HD 8 instead. Here’s what you need to know about the new Fire 7.

What’s good

Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBC

The Fire 7 tablet is the smallest tablet Amazon sells that gives you access to Amazon’s services, like Audible, Amazon Photos, Alexa, Amazon Prime video and the Amazon store. Amazon generously included 16GB of storage instead of the 8GB it used to offer for tablets at this price, but most people will still want to buy a microSD card to add more. The 16GB won’t let you store many TV shows and movies offline if you have a lot of apps. It’s really only adequate if you plan to stream a lot. It’s easy to set up — you just sign into your Amazon account and you’re good to go. Like Amazon’s other tablets, it listens for when you say “Alexa” so you can talk to the voice assistant whenever you want, without having to tap a button or open an app. This worked OK for me, though sometimes I had to say “Alexa” more than once to get it to wake up. The most notable thing about it is the $50 price tag. You’d be hard pressed to find a better tablet for $50. But I still think you should spend the extra $10 on the Amazon Fire HD 8, which is better in many ways.

What’s bad

The Amazon Fire 7 tablet has a single speaker that’s blocked by your hand when you hold it. Todd Haselton | CNBC

You get what you pay for. The battery life of the Fire 7 is pretty terrible and didn’t get me through a full day. It even seems to drain battery faster than other devices while sitting idle in my bag, which was annoying. Amazon promises 7 hours of battery which is fine if you have a quick plane ride, but that’s three hours shorter than the Fire HD 8. The screen is a throwback. It’s not HD, which has been fairly standard on devices for almost a decade, and you can see the pixels when you look at it. The Fire HD 8 has a sharper screen and, while you can still see pixels, it’s better for movies and reading text. Also, the Fire 7 has a single speaker on the left side, which you’ll block if you’re holding the tablet in portrait mode. Again, the Fire HD 8 has a better option with stereo speakers that come out of both sides of the tablet.

Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBC

The cameras on the Fire 7 are adequate given the price. Just don’t expect them to be close to what you get on a modern phone. Also, the Fire 7 feels sluggish at times. I noticed some lag while moving around apps, and sometimes even just while scrolling through the system. That’s probably because it only has 1GB of RAM versus 1.5GB in the Fire HD 8. The latter isn’t very fast, either but seems a little more fluid.

Should you buy it?

Amazon Fire 7 tablet Todd Haselton | CNBC


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-06-10  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, todd, better, amazons, bad, hd, price, buy, tablet, version, youre, alexa, haselton, 50, amazon


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Amazon will soon let you ask Alexa to delete your voice recordings — here’s how

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, speaks to a group of Amazon employees that are veterans during an Amazon Veterans Day celebration on Monday, November 12, 2018. Amazon on Wednesday announced that it will soon allow people to ask Alexa to delete some of the things it saves when you ask it questions. As of today, you can say: “Alexa delete everything I said today.” In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to say “Alexa, delete what I just said.” Amazon has thousands of workers around the wor


Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, speaks to a group of Amazon employees that are veterans during an Amazon Veterans Day celebration on Monday, November 12, 2018. Amazon on Wednesday announced that it will soon allow people to ask Alexa to delete some of the things it saves when you ask it questions. As of today, you can say: “Alexa delete everything I said today.” In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to say “Alexa, delete what I just said.” Amazon has thousands of workers around the wor
Amazon will soon let you ask Alexa to delete your voice recordings — here’s how Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-29  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, let, heres, voice, say, report, amazon, recordings, delete, alexa, today, soon, veterans, conversations, ask


Amazon will soon let you ask Alexa to delete your voice recordings — here's how

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, speaks to a group of Amazon employees that are veterans during an Amazon Veterans Day celebration on Monday, November 12, 2018.

Amazon on Wednesday announced that it will soon allow people to ask Alexa to delete some of the things it saves when you ask it questions. It will launch with a new “Alexa Privacy Hub” that will give users more information on “how Echo devices are designed and the controls you have over your Alexa experience,” Amazon said.

Amazon stores every conversation you have with Alexa after you speak the “Alexa” wake word and you currently have to open the Alexa app on your phone to delete your voice history.

As of today, you can say: “Alexa delete everything I said today.” In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to say “Alexa, delete what I just said.” However, the feature won’t let you delete your entire voice history, but you should still use it if you’re concerned about having your recordings stored on Amazon’s servers.

Amazon has thousands of workers around the world listening to Alexa conversations, according to a report from Bloomberg in April. Amazon transcribes those conversations and shares them to help improve Alexa’s voice recognition, the report said. You can turn off the option that automatically sends voice snippets to Amazon, however.

Correction: This article has been updated with the correct timing for when the new Alexa features will be launched.

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-29  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, let, heres, voice, say, report, amazon, recordings, delete, alexa, today, soon, veterans, conversations, ask


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Amazon just announced a new version of its $50 tablet

Amazon on Thursday announced a new version of its Fire 7 tablet. Like the previous model, this one only costs $49.99 and is available for preorder now before it begins shipping on June 6. Amazon will also sell a 32GB version. Amazon said this model now supports Alexa hands-free, so you can call up Alexa by just speaking to the tablet. Amazon will also sell a special Fire 7 Kids Edition for $99.99 that ships with a “kid-proof case.”


Amazon on Thursday announced a new version of its Fire 7 tablet. Like the previous model, this one only costs $49.99 and is available for preorder now before it begins shipping on June 6. Amazon will also sell a 32GB version. Amazon said this model now supports Alexa hands-free, so you can call up Alexa by just speaking to the tablet. Amazon will also sell a special Fire 7 Kids Edition for $99.99 that ships with a “kid-proof case.”
Amazon just announced a new version of its $50 tablet Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-16  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, 50, storage, hd, tablets, ipad, costs, amazon, version, model, alexa, announced, tablet


Amazon just announced a new version of its $50 tablet

Amazon on Thursday announced a new version of its Fire 7 tablet. Like the previous model, this one only costs $49.99 and is available for preorder now before it begins shipping on June 6.

Amazon’s Fire tablets have long offered a cheap alternative to products such as iPads and provide easy access to Amazon’s ecosystem of products, including its Alexa voice assistant, Prime Video, Prime Music, the company’s app store and Amazon.com. For comparison: Apple’s newest iPad Mini is about the same size, but costs $399.

The new Fire tablet model now ships with twice the storage, which means you get 16GB on the base version instead of just 8GB, and the company kept a microSD card slot so you can always add more. Amazon will also sell a 32GB version. Amazon said this model now supports Alexa hands-free, so you can call up Alexa by just speaking to the tablet. It’s also resistant to spills and drops, the company said.

Amazon’s Fire tablets can be a good bang-for-your buck alternative to iPads. Its Fire HD 8 has a sharper screen and longer battery life, but costs $80. There’s also a 10.1-inch model with a 1080p display and 32GB of storage, which costs $149.99. The Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 were not updated on Thursday, however. If you have more to spend, check out Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad or the new iPad mini, which are faster and have more apps.

The Fire 7 tablet will ship in four colors, including black, blue, plum and sage. Amazon will also sell a special Fire 7 Kids Edition for $99.99 that ships with a “kid-proof case.” It also comes with a year of Amazon’s FreeTime service, which has a library of kid-friendly games, apps, books and videos.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-16  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, 50, storage, hd, tablets, ipad, costs, amazon, version, model, alexa, announced, tablet


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Your Amazon Echo can now guard your home and listen for glass breaking. Here’s how to set it up

Amazon on Tuesday began rolling out Alexa Guard to all Echo devices, including older models that didn’t originally get the feature when it was launched late last year. Alexa Guard automatically listens for things like breaking glass and can alert you if it suspects someone is breaking into your home. Alexa Guard is free but still needs to be manually activated by you. Amazon said it “hired licensed contractors to break real glass in a testing lab,” to help prevent false positives and to detect t


Amazon on Tuesday began rolling out Alexa Guard to all Echo devices, including older models that didn’t originally get the feature when it was launched late last year. Alexa Guard automatically listens for things like breaking glass and can alert you if it suspects someone is breaking into your home. Alexa Guard is free but still needs to be manually activated by you. Amazon said it “hired licensed contractors to break real glass in a testing lab,” to help prevent false positives and to detect t
Your Amazon Echo can now guard your home and listen for glass breaking. Here’s how to set it up Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, smart, turn, activate, alarm, guard, glass, echo, breaking, listen, alexa, heres, amazon, automatically, set


Your Amazon Echo can now guard your home and listen for glass breaking. Here's how to set it up

Amazon on Tuesday began rolling out Alexa Guard to all Echo devices, including older models that didn’t originally get the feature when it was launched late last year.

Alexa Guard automatically listens for things like breaking glass and can alert you if it suspects someone is breaking into your home. If you have an ADT or Ring alarm system, it can also automatically set off the alarm. The feature was announced during Amazon’s big Alexa event last September.

Alexa Guard is free but still needs to be manually activated by you. It requires you to first speak “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate Guard on your Echo and to force Alexa to begin listening for more than just the “Alexa” wake word.

If an Echo hears a window break, it can send you an alert to your phone along with a live video feed if you have an Echo with a camera on it, like the Echo Show. An alert includes a 10-second audio recording of the glass breaking and anything else the Echo heard, but it otherwise doesn’t listen unless you speak Alexa again.

It will also send alerts if a smart smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm goes off. If you configure it, Guard can also automatically turn on smart lights at certain times while you’re away, and it will automatically turn them on and off on a schedule as if you’re home.

“Alexa uses machine learning to determine the right lighting activity for your home based on lighting usage across customers,” Amazon said.

Amazon said it “hired licensed contractors to break real glass in a testing lab,” to help prevent false positives and to detect the actual sound of breaking glass. “This team broke hundreds of different windows, in different sizes, including single pane and double pane, with a variety of instruments including crow bars, hammers, bricks, baseball bats, and more,” the company explained in an email to CNBC.

If you subscribe to ADT or use Amazon’s Ring alarm system, Guard can automatically send alerts to professionals so that authorities arrive if a break-in is detected. If you don’t have these systems, Alexa Guard won’t call the police, it’ll just notify you of a potential break-in.

Here’s how to set it up:

Open the Alexa app on your phone.

Tap the menu button on the top left.

Choose “Settings.”

Choose “Guard.”

Tap “Set up Guard.”

Tap “Add” to detect smart smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Tap “Add” to activate smart alerts for detecting the sound of broken glass.

Choose “Add” again to activate smart lighting.

Enter your zip code, so smart lighting knows when to turn on.

Choose “Confirm.”

Now just speak “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate Guard when you leave the house.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, smart, turn, activate, alarm, guard, glass, echo, breaking, listen, alexa, heres, amazon, automatically, set


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Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri

Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant, according to several people familiar with the matter. The effort is being lead by Ira Snyder, director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant. It’s unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant, but it could potentially be used on the company’s Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects. The Facebook assistant faces stiff competiti


Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant, according to several people familiar with the matter. The effort is being lead by Ira Snyder, director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant. It’s unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant, but it could potentially be used on the company’s Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects. The Facebook assistant faces stiff competiti
Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-17  Authors: salvador rodriguez, jaap arriens, nurphoto, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, smart, reality, portal, apple, assistant, rival, according, effort, amazon, companys, working, video, users, voice, alexa, siri, facebook


Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri

Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The tech company has been working on this new initiative since early 2018. The effort is coming out of the company’s augmented reality and virtual reality group, a division that works on hardware, including the company’s virtual reality Oculus headsets.

A team based out of Redmond, Washington, has been spearheading the effort to build the new AI assistant, according to two former Facebook employees who left the company in recent months. The effort is being lead by Ira Snyder, director of AR/VR and Facebook Assistant. That team has been contacting vendors in the smart speaker supply chain, according to two people familiar.

It’s unclear how exactly Facebook envisions people using the assistant, but it could potentially be used on the company’s Portal video chat smart speakers, the Oculus headsets or other future projects.

The Facebook assistant faces stiff competition. Amazon and Google are far ahead in the smart speaker market with 67% and 30% shares in the U.S. in 2018, respectively, according to eMarketer.

In 2015, Facebook released an AI assistant for its Messenger app called M. It was supposed to help users with smart suggestions, but the project depended heavily on the help of humans and never gained traction. Facebook killed the project last year.

The company in November began selling its Portal video chat device, which lets users place video calls using Facebook Messenger. Users can say “Hey Portal” to initiative very simple commands, but the device also comes equipped with Amazon’s Alexa assistant to handle more complex tasks.

–CNBC’s Jordan Novet contributed to this report.

WATCH: Here’s how to see which apps have access to your Facebook data — and cut them off


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-17  Authors: salvador rodriguez, jaap arriens, nurphoto, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, smart, reality, portal, apple, assistant, rival, according, effort, amazon, companys, working, video, users, voice, alexa, siri, facebook


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Amazon Alexa is luring health developers, but it will be a while before we use it to call a doctor

If you want to schedule a doctor’s appointment or check on the status of a medication without picking up the phone, Amazon Alexa can help. As of this week, the voice assistant is HIPAA compliant, which means Amazon can work with hospitals and other health providers that manage protective health data to share personal information on an Echo. Currently, Amazon is working with applications on an invite-only basis, and none of the initial six developers link patients with doctors. “It’s tricky,” sai


If you want to schedule a doctor’s appointment or check on the status of a medication without picking up the phone, Amazon Alexa can help. As of this week, the voice assistant is HIPAA compliant, which means Amazon can work with hospitals and other health providers that manage protective health data to share personal information on an Echo. Currently, Amazon is working with applications on an invite-only basis, and none of the initial six developers link patients with doctors. “It’s tricky,” sai
Amazon Alexa is luring health developers, but it will be a while before we use it to call a doctor Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: christina farr, luke macgregor, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, theres, health, wrong, amazon, developers, information, consults, working, luring, alexa, medical, doctor, week


Amazon Alexa is luring health developers, but it will be a while before we use it to call a doctor

If you want to schedule a doctor’s appointment or check on the status of a medication without picking up the phone, Amazon Alexa can help.

As of this week, the voice assistant is HIPAA compliant, which means Amazon can work with hospitals and other health providers that manage protective health data to share personal information on an Echo.

But what users can’t do yet is connect with a doctor or a therapist through the device, and it might be a few years before they can. Currently, Amazon is working with applications on an invite-only basis, and none of the initial six developers link patients with doctors.

Developers focused on digital health have concerns about using home speakers like the Echo and Google Home for medical consults because privacy issues continue to emerge and there’s too much risk in sensitive health information falling into the wrong hands. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that thousands of employees listen in to snippets of conversations on Alexa to supposedly improve the product experience.

“It’s tricky,” said Robbie Cape, CEO of 98point6, a Seattle-based company that provides virtual medical consults via smartphones and the web. “To uphold user trust, I can imagine that Amazon Alexa would need to confirm they’re talking to the right person, but also that there’s no one else in the room listening to the conversation.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-14  Authors: christina farr, luke macgregor, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, theres, health, wrong, amazon, developers, information, consults, working, luring, alexa, medical, doctor, week


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Amazon employees are listening to what you say to Alexa — here’s how to stop them

A report from Bloomberg revealed that thousands of Amazon employees are listening to what people say when they talk to Alexa. But there’s a way to prevent Amazon employees from listening in. In the Alexa app, which is available for iPhones and Android, the Alexa privacy settings page says this:Use Voice Recordings to Help Develop New FeaturesTraining Alexa with recordings from a diverse range of customers helps ensure Alexa works well for everyone. When this setting is enabled, your voice record


A report from Bloomberg revealed that thousands of Amazon employees are listening to what people say when they talk to Alexa. But there’s a way to prevent Amazon employees from listening in. In the Alexa app, which is available for iPhones and Android, the Alexa privacy settings page says this:Use Voice Recordings to Help Develop New FeaturesTraining Alexa with recordings from a diverse range of customers helps ensure Alexa works well for everyone. When this setting is enabled, your voice record
Amazon employees are listening to what you say to Alexa — here’s how to stop them Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-11  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, employees, listening, recordings, page, turn, stop, heres, setting, amazon, alexa, voice, improve, say, report


Amazon employees are listening to what you say to Alexa — here's how to stop them

Amazon unveils a new version of the Echo Dot at an event on Sept. 20, 2018.

A report from Bloomberg revealed that thousands of Amazon employees are listening to what people say when they talk to Alexa.

Amazon said it uses these conversations to improve Alexa’s “understanding of human speech.” Bloomberg’s report Wednesday said the voice snippets are tied to device serial numbers and the owner’s first name. An Amazon spokesperson said Echo devices only make recordings after hearing a wake word like Alexa.

But there’s a way to prevent Amazon employees from listening in. CNBC dug through the Alexa app, and the option to share this type of information with Amazon was on by default. You can turn it off.

In the Alexa app, which is available for iPhones and Android, the Alexa privacy settings page says this:

Use Voice Recordings to Help Develop New Features

Training Alexa with recordings from a diverse range of customers helps ensure Alexa works well for everyone. When this setting is enabled, your voice recordings may be used in the development of new features. If you turn this setting off, new features may not work well for you.

The page also, by default, lets Amazon improve transcription by using the messages you send with Alexa to other people.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-04-11  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, employees, listening, recordings, page, turn, stop, heres, setting, amazon, alexa, voice, improve, say, report


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