Smart Speakers
Amazon, Google, Apple, and the Zigbee Alliance announced a new partnership called Project Connected Home over IP. It will create a new smart home standard so their products can work together. Sadly, we won’t see a draft specification until late next year. But the good news is that the partnership is announced and there will be a spec and open source materials, too. Continue Reading →

Alexa Is Getting Emotional

C-3P0
A few weeks ago, Amazon announced new developer tools to enable Alexa to speak with emotion, either excited or disappointed across a range of intensities. Amazon said, "Use new Alexa Emotions and speaking styles to create a more natural and intuitive voice experience." Continue Reading →
Shelly Palmer on Fox 5
Shelly Palmer highlights the most interesting Echo devices from Amazon. "Alexa, are you listening?" The answer is absolutely and in all kinds of new ways. With Kerry Drew and Bianca Peters on Good Day New York on Fox 5. Original Airdate: October 1, 2019 Continue Reading →
Echo Frames
When you look at the list of voice-voice-activated hardware Amazon announced this week, even those who are not paranoid have to stop and think. The standout “Think About This…” device is called Echo Frames, a pair of audio-only smart glasses. They will read you your notifications and offer optional support for Google Assistant. And, yes, Continue Reading →
Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen
The lawsuit filed against Amazon’s Alexa Voice Services this past Tuesday fascinates me. It alleges that Amazon is recording children who use Alexa without parental consent. Excuse me? Mom or Dad bought the Echo, put it in the house, and taught the kids to talk to it. How much more parental consent do you need? That said, there is more to the story. Continue Reading →
Bad Alexa
Some people believe that Alexa is listening all the time. This is true. Some people believe that Alexa records every word for posterity. This is false. Some people believe that having an Amazon Echo increases their risk of being hacked. This is also false. But, there’s more to the story. Continue Reading →

Can Alexa Lie?

Echo Glowing Red Ring
There was a recent tabloid piece featuring a video of a woman asking Alexa if it was connected to the CIA. At the time, the Echo Dot she was speaking to did not respond to the question. She asked a few times, and each time the Echo was silent. Conspiracy theorists weighed in. It was an amusing video, but the Daily Mail’s clickbait headline raises a legitimate question: Can Alexa lie? Continue Reading →