Amazon adds Echo devices for use in homes and cars

Smart speaker boasts improved sound and design
From the kitchen to the car, Amazon is seeking to make its Alexa digital assistant and online services a bigger part of people’s lives with an array of new products and partnerships launched on Thursday.
Updates to the Internet giant’s Alexa-infused Echo smart speakers will allow them to tend to microwave cooking and even have “hunches” regarding what users may want or have forgotten. When Alexa is told “corn on the cob”, a digital Echo speaker starts an AmazonBasics microwave oven in a faux home demonstration room, setting the preferred time and voicing what it is doing. But when asked to add 30 seconds, Alexa paused and then started to play songs by the band “Thirty Seconds to Mars.” Such misunderstandings are routine enough with smart speakers that they have become fodder for humour, and even cropped up while Amazon devices and services senior vice president David Limp showed off new devices.
Learning intuition
Alexa has gotten smarter, more conversational and even intuitive during the past year as teams at Amazon work hard on getting the digital assistant to better understand people, according to Mr. Limp. Alexa has also learned to understand whispers, responding in equally hushed tones in a feature to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Identifying patterns
Alexa uses artificial intelligence to identify patterns in the lives of users, factoring in weather, time of year and more. To know what is happening with other smart devices in a home, the Echo speaker needs to be connected to them. An overhauled Echo Dot smart speaker boasts much-improved sound and design while keeping the $50 price tag of the original. Amazon added Echo equivalents of stereo components for home sound systems, along with improvements to its online music service.
Source :  https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/amazon-adds-echo-devices-for-use-in-homes-and-cars/article25011739.ece

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