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Here’s Everything You’ve Been Wondering About the Amazon Alexa

So what are these little talking cubes and spheres popping up in our homes? Are they listening in on our conversations? What else can they do other than tell me the outside weather and set alarms?

If these thoughts have crossed your mind, you certainly are not the only one…

Amazon claims that the Echo device is constantly listening, but only for something that sounds along the lines of “Alexa.” Police and investigators have attempted to come to Amazon for warrants regarding access to Echo recordings for crime scenes that have occurred while in the presence of an Echo appliance, but Amazon denies them. So we aren’t really sure whether Alexa is constantly listening, and Amazon is avoiding this conversation topic as much as possible.

The Alexa device is most commonly used for playing music, receiving weather updates and setting alarms or timers. However, Amazon has mentioned that the gadget is capable of over 300,000 “skills”, such as controlling lights inside your home.

Ever since Apple’s launch of “Siri” in 2011, the concept of a virtual assistant has been on the rise among various technology companies. Companies are exploring “assistants” in various sizes and structures, such as bathroom mirrors and personal laptop devices. Amazon has also announced an agreement to incorporate Alexa technology into Toyota automobiles.

Overall, customers seem to be satisfied with their home assistant devices because of the relatively cheap cost. You are able to get Amazon Echo’s for $50 or less and prices were as low as $30 this past holiday season. Amazon has recently launched a new Echo device with a simpler and smaller design that is meant to blend in better with the household environment.

Changing gears, there have been theories floating around that Google Home and Chromecast products have been tampering with WiFi connection in homes. So if you have been experiencing issues with your WiFi, and you are an owner of either of these devices, Google has made a note of the issue and is looking into resolving it as quickly as possible. We aren’t exactly sure what this means, but at least the company is addressing the problem.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for more of these “virtual assistant” products and devices. Whether it’s your Amazon Echo, TV, laptop, or car, products like these are going to continue to hit the market as the technology becomes more popular.

 

 

 

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Emma Komrska

Cincinnati

I am currently a Junior at the University of Cincinnati. In my free time, I love to explore new kinds of workouts, check out the latest trending shows on Netflix, & meet empowering women on/off campus. If you have any questions for me I would love to answer them at [email protected] ENJF // "love does does not keep a record of wrongs"
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