via IFTTT Amazon Alexa New Updates and New Features for July 31, 2018
The Amazon #Alexa voice assistant and the Amazon Echo set of devices have all new updates for this week in 2018. There are all kinds of new features being rolled out, and I give you all of the latest on Alexa, the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, and more.
Alexa now has an equalizer on board in all of the 1st and 2nd generation Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus, as well as the Echo Show and the Echo Spot. You can raise, using your voice, the bass, mid-range, or high frequency (or lower).
Amazon Alexa can now cast. Alexa Cast is a feature available on Amazon Music. You’ll find the icon down at the bottom of the Amazon Music application and it can cast to your Echo devices.
The Echo Show (or an Amazon Fire HD tablet) now has the capability of a Tap to Alexa function. You can tap a button on screen and you can access a number of commonly used functions through touch.
What’s more, is we’ve now seem some developers produce a sign language capability for Alexa. This uses a camera and identifies the sign language to produce results.
BMW is about to release a number of cars (including the new X5) with Alexa on board. What’s great about this new voice assistant being on board with cars is the inclusion of visual interfaces as well as the voice assistant. You can get things like the weather on your dash, and with on board LTE connections, Alexa will work well for years.
Amazon has funded 9 different companies on the Alexa Accelerator program. I personally think that Conservation Labs, with their smart water meter, and Novalia with their touch-based experiences have a great opportunity to produce great content for your Alexa-enabled devices.
Amazon has partnered with Yext, which is a company that uses business analytics with data from Google and Facebook, and then provide data back. Amazon intends to use this kind of data to provide answers to responses.
The Philips Hue Adore series of products is an interesting new home automation series of lights for your bathroom. Everyone’s favorite so far seems to be the smart mirror from Philips. Alexa, of course, can be used to control this light.
GE has unveiled the Smart Countertop Microwave that allows Alexa integration. This means you can cook through voice control! What more could you ever want? It also has the ability to scan barcodes and cook items per the suggestions from the manufacturer.
DirectTV has a set of DVRs or set-top boxes that integrate with your Amazon Echo series of products. The Genie series is basically what you’re looking for to control with your #AmazonAlexa device.
The last thing this week is related to the success of Alexa in responding to your queries. In a recent Venture Beat (venturebeat.com) study with 800 questions being asked, Alexa managed to answer 61.4% of the questions. However, in comparison, the Google Assistant could answer 85.5% of questions correctly. My expectation is that over time, skills and the partnership with Yext will come to improve this situation.
If you need any recommendations for home automation products, here’s my Amazon Influencer Shop. Yes, I make money if you buy a product from Amazon through this link, but I’ve only included products I personally recommend. It’s a curated list of high-quality smart home products.
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