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Amazon's Alexa returns after the morning snooze.

Alexa gets new sunrise and sleep lighting features in the US -

By Kamran ShehzadPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Alexa gets new sunrise and sleep lighting features in the US.

"Good morning. Who is the President of the United States?"

You don't have to be a speaker or a smart home user to get an AI speaker in your home, but it does require some effort on your part. You might also want to invest in an Amazon account that allows your Alexa to actually hear you.

The skills for Alexa are incredibly diverse, which is great for budding voice recognition experts, but unfortunately not so good for people like me, who don't know any voice recognition language at all.

The smart speakers, once you've got your camera on, are surprisingly easy to use. You simply tap on the screen and talk to the Alexa device. At times, I found it easier to just talk to the Echo itself, rather than have to reach over to the top of the countertop to talk to the Echo Show.

I've never seen one of these devices in a retail store before , so this was a pretty cool surprise.

I asked Alexa who the President of the US is, and she responded to my first statement with that famous stat that a lot of people don't know, that America elected its first African American President.

I had a lot of fun trying to repeat my request but eventually, it got really annoying , and I just left it up to her. And her... "wake word" that comes out when she's going to do something.

You can get additional information and history on different presidents and historical events with the Echo Show's Google Home-like home screen, which can change with the times and your interests.

For example, you can find out exactly what the weather is like where you are.

  • And you can check the news at the top of the screen by tapping the paper airplane icon.
  • It even has a screen mirroring option for your phone, as well as a video chat feature.
  • Alexa uses Amazon's version of speech recognition, which is called Voice Activated Conversational Understanding ( VAI).
  • Amazon says the goal of VAI is to be as close to an actual human conversation as possible so Alexa can react to your word or phrase.

    VAI wasn't as accurate as Alexa's natural language understanding and the quality varied greatly between different queries.

    The Echo is surprisingly easy to use and surprisingly quick. One of my favorite things to ask Alexa was "what are the best dishes from various cooking shows?"

    If I had more than one Echo Show I could ask Alexa for suggestions about what to cook, and then tell her to tell me a few restaurants to check out for different meals.

    The Echo Show's main selling point is obviously its screen, and that is pretty cool. For something that starts around $230 (£170 or AU$320), the screen seems like a very fair trade.

    Larger screens like Apple's iPhone X and the Google Pixel 2 XL might have better screens, but the Echo Show feels less gimmicky.

    The Amazon Echo Show is available for preorder starting today, with a release date of June 28. It'll be available in two colors -- black and white -- and it starts shipping on June 28.

    Alexa's trip back was documented in a little experiment, which we dubbed "Alexa, take me back.

    There's no need to return.

    After our little love affair, in which Alexa developed a taste for lounging in bed with me, I We decided to wash the sheets.


    About the Creator

    Kamran Shehzad

    Kamran Shehzad is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in International Relations at National Defence University, Islamabad. He has keen interests in geopolitical developments and the strategic correspondences of states.

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