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Amazon rolls out new ways to monetize Alexa’s skills

May 13th, 2018 at 9:02 am » Comments Off

All Alexa skills developers can now monetize their voice apps with in-skill purchases, Amazon announced last week. The introduction of in-skill purchasing allows skills developers to sell premium digital content — such as subscription services or one-time purchases that augment a skill’s free offerings — within an Alexa skill.



SoundHound has raised a big $100M round to take on Alexa and Google Assistant

May 8th, 2018 at 10:21 am » Comments Off

As SoundHound looks to leverage its ten-plus years of experience and data to create a voice recognition tool that companies can bake into any platform, it’s raising another big $100 million round of funding to try to make its Houndify platform a third neutral option compared to Alexa and Google Assistant. While Amazon works to […]



Anyone can now create Alexa skills in a matter of minutes

April 21st, 2018 at 11:36 am » Comments Off

Amazon on Thursday unveiled “Alexa Skill Blueprints,” code-free templates that any Alexa owner, regardless of experience level, can use to create customized Alexa skills in a matter of minutes. Amazon included over 20 templates across four categories — Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge — with plans to add more.



Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind

April 21st, 2018 at 11:28 am » Comments Off

Legally blind since age 18, my father missed out on the first digital revolution. “Is it ‘Electra?’” my father asks, leaning in close to the Amazon Echo my mother has just installed. Leaning in close is his trademark maneuver: Dad has been legally blind since age 18, the result of a horrible car crash in […]



In pursuit of the perfect AI voice

April 21st, 2018 at 11:19 am » Comments Off

How developers are humanizing their virtual personal assistants. The virtual personal assistant is romanticized in utopian portrayals of the future from The Jetsons to Star Trek. It’s the cultured, disembodied voice at humanity’s beck and call, eager and willing to do any number of menial tasks.



EZVIZ’s ‘Lookout Smart Door Viewer’ turns a peephole into a smart video doorbell

January 9th, 2018 at 10:38 am » Comments Off

Home security camera maker EZVIZ announced its first product for smart entry security at CES 2018 today, with the debut of the Lookout Smart Door Viewer. The system is designed to work with the company’s new ezGuard security camera, as well as with other EZVIZ products and Amazon Alexa.



Top 25 inventions of 2017: Selfie drones, 3d printed tires and more

November 22nd, 2017 at 11:38 am » Comments Off

Drones that put selfie sticks to shame, pollution zapping air filters, 3D printable airless tires and a malware detecting router for your smart home.



This company is trying to disrupt the braces industry and dentists are fighting back

October 16th, 2017 at 11:23 am » Comments Off

SmileDirectClub offers to straighten your teeth at a fraction of the cost of braces, without a visit to the dentist. But orthodontists claim the company has endangered the oral health of tens of thousands of people.



Best Buy bets on adults remotely monitoring their aging parents

October 13th, 2017 at 10:12 am » Comments Off

By 2020, 45 million Americans will be caring for 117 million seniors. The retailer offers a $29 monthly monitoring service using internet-connected gear.



Ingenious AI converts images of food into a list of ingredients

July 27th, 2017 at 8:36 am » Comments Off

Researchers at MIT have developed deep-learning algorithm that can compile a list of ingredients and even recommend recipes after looking at photos of food. The artificially intelligent system still needs some fine tuning, but this tool could eventually help us learn to cook, count calories, and track our eating habits.



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