Amazon's Alexa first made headlines in November 2014. Developed by the eCommerce giant, Amazon, the virtual assistant was originally featured in the Amazon Echo device and Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers. It's useful for many different activities, including playing music or audiobooks, setting alarms and notifications, providing news updates, and even holding small conversations.
For many, the level of functionality currently offered in Amazon Alexa is more than enough to revolutionize their day-to-day lives. However, Amazon's third annual event, held in September 2019, revealed some big and exciting developments that are coming to the virtual assistant sooner rather than later.
Firstly, Amazon introduced no less than three different Alexa-powered wearables for the consumer market – including their Echo Buds, Echo Frames, and the Echo Loop – an attractive ring that fits snugly on the user's finger. All of the new devices are fully integrated with Alexa and feature several hours of battery life. While the Echo Buds are already available for preorder, the Echo Frames and the Echo Loop are currently reserved for invitation only.
New Celebrity Voices
Are you tired of the default Alexa voice? If so, you'll soon be able to change it with any number of celebrity voices. There is only one at the moment: Samuel L. Jackson. The popular actor, known for his roles in Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane, and many more, will soon be lending his voice to Amazon's Alexa.
Moreover, Amazon also introduced Multilingual Mode. This gives Alexa the ability to speak more than one language, in order to better accommodate multilingual families. In the U.S., for example, Alexa will support both English and Spanish at the same time. In india, Alexa understands Indian English and Hindi. In Canada, the platform works with Canadian English and French.
Finally, a series of brand new emotions have been integrated into Alexa's speech patterns. She can now respond with excitement and even understand when a user is becoming frustrated.
With more focus on consumer privacy than ever before, it only makes sense that the development team at Amazon would introduce increased privacy controls into Alexa. Not only are they adding the ability to automatically delete voice recordings after a certain amount of time, but the exact timeframe can be customized to your liking.
Echo Studio, Echo Show, and Echo Glow
Three different features round out the new functionality that was added to Amazon's Alexa. The Echo Studio, designed in partnership with Dolby Atmos, is the first smart speaker to feature 3D audio. Echo Show 8 features a high-def, 8-inch display, a built-in camera shutter, and more. Finally, the Echo Glow provides a multi-colored smart lamp that doubles as a portable speaker. The three new devices are priced at $199.99, $129.99 and $29.99 respectively and all are currently available for preorder through their traditional eCommerce website.
For more information on Amazon's Alexa, including details on any of the smart devices that utilize the Alexa platform, head over to their official website at www.amazon.com.
What New Improvements Are Coming to Alexa?
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