Category: Alexa

June 1, 2019 Off

Startups net more than capital with NBA players as investors

By Jill T Frey

If you’re a big basketball fan like me, you’ll be glued to the TV watching the Golden State Warriors take on the Toronto Raptors in the NBA finals. (You might be surprised who I’m rooting for.)

In honor of the big games, we took a shot at breaking down investment activities of the players off the court. Last fall, we did a story highlighting some of the sport’s more prolific investors. In this piece, we’ll take a deeper dive into just what having an NBA player as a backer can do for a startup beyond the capital involved. But first, here’s a chart of … Read the rest

May 29, 2019 Off

Amazon adds ‘Alexa, delete what I said today’ command

By Jill T Frey

Buried in this morning’s Echo Show 5 announcement are a couple of new security features worth highlighting. In addition to the inclusion of a built-in camera shutter on the new smart display are a pair of Echo commands that let users delete voice recordings with an Alexa command.

“Alexa, delete what I said today” rolls out to Alexa users starting today. “Alexa, delete what I just said” will be arriving in the U.S. in the coming weeks and other countries where the smart assistant is available in the next month. Amazon has offered the ability to delete recordings via the app for some time now, but this brings the functionality to the front with a simple via command.

The process works similarly to deleting recordings via the app, starting the deletion process immediately.

While the company has long contended that it doesn’t actively record conversations and protects records on encrypted … Read the rest

May 23, 2019 Off

Amazon is reportedly working on an emotion-tracking Alexa wearable

By Jill T Frey

Amazon probably knows everything else about you at this point, so why not let it track your emotions, too? The company is said to be working on a wearable wellness device said to be able to determine a user’s emotional state. Word arrives from a Bloomberg story based on “internal documents.”

This comes on the heels of a patent issued for the company designed to let Alexa determine a speaker’s mood and respond accordingly based on how they’re feeling. That filing highlighted relevant emotions like “happiness, joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom [and] stress.” That’s a pretty wide range of reactions for a smart assistant.

The smartphone-connected, wrist-worn device is said to be the product of the Alexa and Lab126 hardware team. It’s currently being tested, internally, under the code name “Dylan.” It’s worth noting that Amazon has recently been encouraging a lot of experimentation among its internal hardware … Read the rest

May 1, 2019 Off

Alexa in-skill purchasing, which lets developers make money from voice apps, launches internationally

By Jill T Frey

A year after Amazon opened in-skill purchasing to all Alexa developers in the U.S., the company is launching the service internationally. Initially, the capability will roll out to developers in the U.K., Germany and Japan, and then developers elsewhere in the world. With in-skill purchasing, developers are able to generate revenue from voice apps in a number of ways: through the sale of digital goods as a one-time purchase, subscriptions or consumables.

Digital goods can include things like expansion packs for a trivia skill, while consumables are one-time-use purchases — like hints for a trivia game. Subscriptions, meanwhile, give developers a more consistent revenue stream, and can be used for things like a premium, upgraded app experience or a voice app that regularly updates with new content, for example.

The larger idea is that publishers need to make money from voice apps in order to make their continued development worth … Read the rest