Amazon Alexa gets Samuel L Jackson and other celebrity voices
Amazon has announced that its digital assistant Alexa will soon have the ability to mimic the voice of the actor Samuel L Jackson among other actors.
The firm plans to charge a fee for the attribute, with every voice costing $0.99 (80p).
The company has also refreshed its assortment of Echo speakers, adding a bigger high-end version with Dolby Atmos for”3D sound”.
Amazon is the Planet’s best-selling smart speaker brand.
However, that position has been contested by Chinese firms such as Baidu, while Google is also expected to unveil new equipment of its own next month.
The company Has also expanded its Echo range into a choice of wearable technology for both humans and pets for the first time.
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The new devices include:
· Echo Frames – a set of titanium-framed eyeglasses that vibrate to provide notifications, and have built-in microphones and speakers to use Alexa, but no display
· Echo Buds – a set of wireless Bluetooth earbuds that contain noise-reduction technology, giving them an edge over Apple’s Airpods, and which may trigger the firm’s virtual assistant by voice alone, unlike other Alexa-enabled headphones
· Echo Loop – a ring which features two microphones and a”tap-on” button, which allows owners to record messages and send them into an Echo smart speaker
· Fetch – a pet tracker designed to attach to a dog collar
· In addition, the company said its smart helper would be built to General Motors’ vehicles from next year, and that some present models could be upgraded to incorporate the feature.
“This Avalanche of new products underlines Amazon’s desire to expand Alexa’s reach to every part of people’s lives – be that in the house, or on the transfer via new Echo Buds or in the car through the deal with General Motors,” commented Geoff Blaber, an analyst in CCS Insight.
“Not only will it will fortify Amazon’s reach with existing clients using Alexa-powered goods, it will also give the chance to woo more customers to adopt its increasingly omnipresent voice helper.”
Amazon said it would use a “neural Text-to-speech” engine to mimic actors’ voices on Alexa-powered devices. It will use records the stars supply as the basis for additional computer-generated utterances.
In the case of Avengers actor Samuel L Jackson, customers will be given the choice of whether they want a version which swears or not.
The firm said Other famous stars – that will be compensated for their services – will follow.
Amazon Recently announced it was upgrading its audio streaming service into a”high definition” format to help its own fortunes.
Its new Studio Speaker should provide users with a way to appreciate the excess detail it offers. Like Sonos’ apparel, it fine tunes its sound to match the acoustics of this room it’s placed in.
And two of those $200 (#190 from the UK) speakers Can be paired and connected to a Fire TV stick or tv to create a home theater experience.
“Amazon Hasn’t really had a intelligent speaker that was marketed especially for its sound quality, in the mode of an Apple HomePod or a Google Home Max,” commented Ben Stanton in the tech consultancy Canalys.
“Typically, Third-parties such as Harman and Sonos are the ones to distinguish in this area on Amazon’s behalf.
“If it [lives up to its promise], it is going to cannibalise these third-party goods, and leave little space left for third party speaker vendors to innovate.”
Amazon’s stock Closed the day 1.5% greater, while stocks in Sonos sank 5 percent lower.
Amazon’s Devices chief Dave Limp addressed consumers’ privacy issues early on during the launch event in the company’s Seattle headquarters, even demonstrating a tweet it had obtained complaining about among its speakers activating with no trigger word”Alexa” being uttered.
“We care about this,” he said.
“Privacy Is absolutely foundational to what we do in and about Alexa.”
He emphasized the fact that consumers can now Command a device to delete everything they have said daily. In addition, the company recently added an alternative to its Alexa app to let users opt out of having their voices transcribed by humans to enhance the service’s precision.
However, some Of its rivals – like Apple and Google – have gone further by requiring their customers to opt into similar programmes.
“Privacy Is a massive issue for all technology producers and recent revelations show that Amazon is vulnerable,” commented Adam Simon in the market intelligence company Context.
“All our Research shows it is an important concern to consumers.
“Yet, Ironically, it’s not the most important barrier preventing people buying smart home solutions. Privacy is far outweighed by lack of understanding, lack of awareness of value, and lack of good use cases.”
He added that after this year, users will be Able to ask Alexa”why did you do this?” , to question it about unexpected behaviour.
Furthermore, a New setting will let them set recordings to be auto-deleted after a predetermined period of time ranging from three to 18 months.
Other announcements included a new 8in (20.3cm) Echo Show smart display, which can now show group video calls with various people onscreen at the same time.
It features Exactly the same”high definition” display resolution as the 10in version, but only a 1 megapixel camera versus the 5MP sensor in the larger apparatus.
That means it Will probably never add the sort of auto-framing attribute that Facebook’s Portal and Google Nest Hub Max video chat apparatus provide, which can be achieved by cropping into the picture.
Other new kit contained:
§ a small Version of its smart speaker that plugs right into the wall and includes a port into which owners can plug accessories such as a motion sensor or a nightlight, known as the Echo Flex
§ an Internet-connected lamp that can change colours in time with songs, known as the Echo Glow
§ a Voice-controlled smart fan oven, which could also cook food through microwaves or an oil-based”air-fryer”. It may be paired to a smartphone to allow users to scan packed foods’ barcodes to place the device to cook them in the appropriate temperatures for the recommended number of times
§ a new wireless Protocol named Sidewalk, which may connect devices up to 500m (0.3 miles) off – giving it an advantage over Bluetooth and wifi – but uses less electricity than a 4G or 5G data connection
Mr Limp also announced changes to its Ring-branded smart doorbells.
These will now Gain use of Alexa, such as a service that will enable visitors to capture a message in the event the owner is outside and not able to respond remotely through the device’s app.
He also Unveiled new Ring hardware including a security camera for within the house – That will compete against Google’s Nest Cam in addition to similar products from Hive and Canary – and a”retrofit” kit which adds smart features to existing alarm systems.