The $20 Wyze Cam security camera now works with Amazon Alexa

The Wyze Cam has garnered some attention as being a pretty good home security camera at a remarkably low price of just $20. Now it has gotten even better with the addition of Alexa support, via TechCrunch. Starting today, the Wyze Cam v2 ($20) and the Wyze Cam Pan ($30) can be viewed through Amazon Echo Shows, Echo Spots, all Fire TV models, and Fire tablets by simply asking Alexa to show the camera. While the camera is technically listed at $19.99 on Wyze’s website, they charge $5.99 shipping per camera, so it really costs $25.98. That just so happens to be the exact same price you can buy it on Amazon. The camera comes with a surprisingly robust set of features for the price, including 1080p video, night vision, motion detection, sound detection, and free 14-day cloud storage.

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Turn a Fire HD 8 or HD 10 tablet into an Echo Show with Amazon’s new ‘Show Mode’ feature and optional Dock

Amazon’s newly announced ‘Show Mode’ essentially turns any Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 tablet into an Echo Show. The new mode, which will arrive via a software update on July 2nd to all existing current generation Fire HD 8 and HD 10 tablets, provides a full-screen interface for hands-free Alexa interactions. To compliment Show Mode, Amazon has announced a new Show Mode Dock for the Fire HD 8 and a new Show Mode Dock for the Fire HD 10 that automatically put the tablets into Show Mode while charging. Read more ›

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Overview of Alexa Voice Navigation capabilities on the Fire TV Cube

A major part of Alexa’s roll on the Amazon Fire TV Cube is the voice assistant’s ability to control home theater equipment and serve as a universal remote. While controlling external devices with Alexa is great, Amazon has also added a lot of new voice navigation capabilities to the Fire TV Cube itself to better utilize Alexa. Here’s an overview of the different ways you can use Alexa to navigate around the Fire TV Cube’s interface. Read more ›

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Netflix now supports deep Alexa voice controls on Fire TV devices

The Netflix update that many Fire TV owners have been waiting for has arrived. Netflix has just updated their Fire TV app with deeper support for Alexa voice controls. Where before it was only possible to use Alexa to launch the Netflix app, now you can use the voice assistant to jump directly into playing a movie or TV show, control advanced playback in the app, and perform voice searches within Netflix. Read more ›

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Alexa and Echo devices are coming to hotels thanks to Alexa for Hospitality

Amazon has announced service that helps hotels, vacation rentals, and other locations deploy Alexa and Echo devices at scale. Alexa for Hospitality allows the voice assistant to be customized for each location. Guests will be able to ask for things like hotel information, order room service, request housekeeping, and control smart devices like lights and thermostats. It also appears as though there will be a way for guests to temporarily login to their hotel room’s Alexa device in order to access their music, make phone calls, and other personal Alexa functions. Select Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels, and Autograph Collection Hotels are already on board and will deploy Alexa devices starting this summer.

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Alexa and Echo devices coming to Spain and Italy later this year

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and Echo devices are continuing their global expansion. The lineup just debuted in France earlier this month, and now Amazon has announced that Spain and Italy are the next countries to get Alexa and Echo devices. Alexa’s arrival in Spain is significant because it means Alexa will speak Spanish for the first time, which is among the most popular languages in the world. Amazon is opening Alexa to developers in Spain and Italy now and will release the voice assistant and devices in those countries later this year. With the addition of Spain and Italy, Alexa will be available in 12 countries, which include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

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Alexa usage on Amazon Fire TVs has increased considerably

With the announcement of the new Fire TV Cube, Amazon is making Alexa a bigger part of their streaming media hardware than ever. That decision is likely influenced by the fact that Fire TV owners are using Alexa more than ever. VP of Fire TV product development Sandeep Gupta said, at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco on Wednesday, that Alexa usage on Fire TV devices increased by 23x during the 2017 holiday quarter when compared to the same three months in 2016, according to Variety. Amazon says that Alexa was queried close to half a billion times by Fire TV users in 2017. More recently, hours spent using Alexa on Fire TV devices nearly doubled over the past 9 months. As Alexa becomes more useful with new capabilities, those figures are sure to continue increasing.

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You’ll soon be able to publicly share your custom Alexa Blueprint skills — Update: Now Sharable

A couple of months ago, Amazon released a system for anyone to easily customize Alexa’s responses, called Alexa Blueprints, without any programming. Through easy to fill out forms and templates, you can create your own custom Alexa games, use Alexa to pass on specific information, and a lot more. According to TechCrunch, it’ll soon be possible to make your Alexa Blueprints public and share them with a link that lets anyone install them on their own Alexa devices. The sharing feature doesn’t appear to be live yet, but Alexa Blueprints do now have an “Access” setting that lists blueprints as “Private.” Once sharing is available, you’ll be able to mark a blueprint you made as public and be given a custom sharable link that lets anyone who clicks it install your custom blueprint.

Update

Alexa Blueprints are now sharable. View the details of any blueprint and you’ll find a “Shar with others” link on the right.

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Skyrim arrives on Amazon Alexa devices as a ‘very special edition’

The game Skyrim is now available on Alexa devices. Bethesda, the developer of the very popular RPG game, released a funny trailer for the Alexa version of Skyrim that many assumed was just a joke. The game is, in fact, real and actually playable as a new Skyrim Alexa skill.

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Amazon Fire TV Cube can be used in the same room as Echo devices thanks to improved ESP

The Amazon Fire TV Cube has been announced and is available for pre-order. While we’ve learned a lot about Amazon’s new flagship Fire TV model, there are still plenty of unanswered questions and I’ll do my best to get answers to the most common ones. One question that has already come up several times in the comment discussion of the announcement post is whether the Fire TV Cube can be used in the same room as another Echo device. The short answer is yes it can, but there are some things to consider. Read more ›

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