Amazon’s new APIs connect smart home cameras and doorbells to Alexa

Your Ring and August doorbells and locks just got a lot smarter. Amazon has released new APIs for smart home cameras and doorbells allowing these devices to communicate with Echo speakers. Not all devices can support these new APIs however. Amazon currently supports WebRTC compliant cameras or 3Ps, which use a WebRTC bridge to connect […]

Skype support coming to Alexa later this year

Enlarge / Skype calling on Alexa hardware. (credit: Microsoft) Later this year you’ll be able to say “Alexa, call Mom on Skype” and have Amazon’s digital assistant do the right thing with Microsoft’s messaging network. Microsoft and Amazon have been working to integrate their technology. Earlier in the year, Cortana and Alexa gained the ability […]

Researchers show Alexa “skill squatting” could hijack voice commands

Enlarge (credit: Amazon) The success of Internet of Things devices such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home have created an opportunity for developers to build voice-activated applications that connect ever deeper—into customers’ homes and personal lives. And—according to research by a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)—the potential to exploit some of […]

A baby in the UK reportedly said ‘Alexa’ as his first word, and it reveals a raging debate over how children use tech (AMZN)

Jeffrey Dastin/Reuters A baby in the UK apparently said “Alexa” before he said “mama” or “dada,” his parents, Lottie Ledger and Mark Brady, told Caters News Agency. It’s another example of a new technology becoming commonplace enough that it can affect children early in their lives. Amazon recently came out with a kid’s edition of its […]

Alexa Routines can now include music and podcasts

Amazon launched Alexa Routines last year and they let users set up a list of automated smart home actions that can be triggered with a simple command. For example, “Alexa, good morning,” could launch a Routine that turns on the lights, reports the weather forecast, reads news briefings and starts the coffee maker. Missing from […]