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  #121  
Old 05.01.2017, 10:23
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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https://support.getmyfox.com/hc/en-u...-Amazon-Alexa-

seems like Alexa also supports my new alarm system (had to move away from Swisscom Smartlife as Swisscom has decided to pull the plug on it). Not sure it's smart to enable it, though - if I can disable the alarm and the camera by asking Alexa to do so, so can any burglar.
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When I get an Alexa (one ordered) I'm going to use it to arm an alarm and security monitoring. But it won't be able to disarm it. I'm using a finger-print scanner to do that.
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  #122  
Old 05.01.2017, 10:26
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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I looked at your link - you need to enter a pass code (by voice) to disarm it.
Indeed, I must have overlooked that. That takes care of the security issue. Now I just need to find a solution for the kids' arming the system because it's fun to do so. They've been adding 'candy' and 'toys' to the shopping list as well :-/
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  #123  
Old 05.01.2017, 10:29
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

Speaking of: I think it's high time IFTTT adds two-factor authentication.
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  #124  
Old 05.01.2017, 10:47
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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Speaking of: I think it's high time IFTTT adds two-factor authentication.
you mean it is the right time now, or is it already yesterday's technology
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  #125  
Old 05.01.2017, 10:48
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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you mean it is the right time now, or is it already yesterday's technology
Well, it's better than what they have now. Which is a massive joke.
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  #126  
Old 05.01.2017, 15:50
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

I just got an echo dot from the US today. I registered through alexa.amazon, and its on the network.

I notice the examples on the website are all in german. Is there a difference in service between the two languages? As Lex is merely a middle component, I can't imagine its Skills are language specific.

Anyway, not sure what to do with this now. It thinks I am in Seattle, Washington, and I can't enter a Swiss location.

How are you folks faring with yours? Is it working for you?
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  #127  
Old 05.01.2017, 16:03
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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It's the same for Amazon Echo in that you need to set a German postcode, Swiss addresses are not accepted. At least the weather forecast can be reasonably accurate if set to Konstanz. Apple have even kept Alexa out of the Swiss App Store....
Ah, it accepted a german address. Thanks.
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  #128  
Old 05.01.2017, 16:06
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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Does the Amazon Echo purchased in the US work in Switzerland? I was told that I'd have to buy one from Amazon UK; then when I submit a Swiss address, they state they won't ship it to Switzerland. I am in the US and have one I can mail from here, if it will work in Switzerland, that I want to send to family in Zurich.
I just received mine, purchased in the US. I'm still setting it up, so am not sure if all things work seamlessly. Noticeably, it is slower than one I was using in the US.

Not sure which use cases to test. I would hate to set up up an amazon music premium account, as I know I will not really be using it.

Let me know if there are any use cases you would like me to try.
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  #129  
Old 05.01.2017, 16:25
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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I just received mine, purchased in the US. I'm still setting it up, so am not sure if all things work seamlessly. Noticeably, it is slower than one I was using in the US.

Not sure which use cases to test. I would hate to set up up an amazon music premium account, as I know I will not really be using it.

Let me know if there are any use cases you would like me to try.
They tend to be slow while they're installing updates. As for languages: the skills are country specific. If you have a German Amazon account, you only get the skills (and the music, audio books etc) for the German version, which is quite limited. You can transfer your account to the U.K. store, that'll let you talk English to it and will give you significantly more selection.

That's what I meant earlier on when I said I'm worried about Amazon's country-specific approach. I think it'll hinder growth in the long run. Google is doing that way better.
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  #130  
Old 05.01.2017, 16:29
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

It's not the cheapest way to buy a Harmony remote, but for an extra tenner you can get one of those Echo Dot things.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Logitech-Ha.../dp/B014GXQ3S4

Delivery to UK addresses only (seems to be a restriction of the Echo).
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  #131  
Old 05.01.2017, 16:43
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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They tend to be slow while they're installing updates. As for languages: the skills are country specific. If you have a German Amazon account, you only get the skills (and the music, audio books etc) for the German version, which is quite limited. You can transfer your account to the U.K. store, that'll let you talk English to it and will give you significantly more selection.

That's what I meant earlier on when I said I'm worried about Amazon's country-specific approach. I think it'll hinder growth in the long run. Google is doing that way better.

I see Echo is intended as a sales channel for Amazon products and services. So those sales and products may be subject to regional conditions.

As for Skills in themselves, technically, it should not matter. I was just reading up on the Lex development kit. There is a way to develop skills through AWS. I submitted for Lex development, but it is not yet open to everybody. I'm trying to see if I can finagle an invite from someone at Amazon.

So these are still in their early stages. You have Lex, Siri, Google, and Facebook demonstrated a very lame one I see voice recognition has made some improvements. It may take a little more time until it gets there.

I think it will take about 5 years before we can rely on speech as primary interface to most computing services. For now, I have to teach Alexa and myself how to make it more useful.
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  #132  
Old 05.01.2017, 16:47
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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I see Echo is intended as a sales channel for Amazon products and services.
That was definitely the reason for launching the Echo, but how about all the gadgets, cars etc. that have Alexa built in?
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  #133  
Old 05.01.2017, 16:52
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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That was definitely the reason for launching the Echo, but how about all the gadgets, cars etc. that have Alexa built in?
Alexa is one incarnation, but Lex is the actual voice service. Alexa may be the consumer persona.

At the moment, its looking to me like an eavesdropping device, to be honest. I'm just trying to figure out how to make it useful.

I want to get my hands on the Lex development kit. I think it will likely be positioned as the interface to other data, even such as corporate data.
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  #134  
Old 06.01.2017, 11:15
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

Hi,

looks like the Google Assistant is going to be more widely available on devices. Still focusing on the US but it is relatively new product compared to Alexa/Echo.

http://www.androidcentral.com/google...ndroid-wear-20

It is also going to be in the new Shield game/streaming tv console.

I am not that interested in home automation as that is not why I bought the Google Home & Echo speaker.

Currently I find the Google Home gets much more use, especially now that it has Netflix and Google Photo support. Really loving the chromecast audio and tv integration.

Anyone wanting to write their own actions for Google Home have a look at

https://www.api.ai

and

https://developers.google.com/actions/

Have fun
Martin
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  #135  
Old 06.01.2017, 11:37
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

What the Echo Dot has in its favor is its low cost (<$50) form factor, and updatable after market skills in the middleware. I think this form factor has a marketing edge, if they are able to proliferate enough of it. It does give Amazon a substantial head start. One can even take Echo Dot portable with a battery.

I'd like to see Apple and Google produce a consumer product in this price range , and then I'd like to see fierce competition in AI services. One thing I will not be doing is spending a lot of money in proprietary systems in the near future.

I suppose you can have them all coexisting together, and you simply address the one best suited for the task. I suspect there will be specialised personas built on Amazon and Google APIs. I'd like to build one if I had the time and opportunity.

We're still in a very early interim stage of this.
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  #136  
Old 06.01.2017, 11:39
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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What the Echo Dot has in its favor is its low cost (<$50) form factor, and updatable after market skills in the middleware. I think this form factor has a marketing edge, if they are able to proliferate enough of it. It does give Amazon a substantial head start. One can even take Echo Dot portable with a battery.
Apple and Google just need to put an always on mic in every phone and you get a device for free.
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  #137  
Old 06.01.2017, 11:45
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

Hi,

exactly every phone, android watch is already a potential Google Assistant end device and the vast majority of phones are Android phones. The hardware for assistant or Amazon is that expensive. Really all the Google Home is an extended Chromecast device. I would expect the price to fall, remember it has not be available for that long and only in the US.

On cost the Google Home device is much cheaper than the Google Echo.

Also it is very simple to add new skills(actions) to Google Home and those skills will also work on an Android phone as well.

Have fun
Martin
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  #138  
Old 06.01.2017, 11:49
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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Apple and Google just need to put an always on mic in every phone and you get a device for free.
That would be somewhat jerry-rigged. The mic on Echo is specialised to be uni-directional. Interesting is that it can detect which direction your voice is coming from. If it had a map of the room you are in, in may even provide a more contextual response.

Also, clearly, Amazon wants to open up a sales revenue stream with Echo ASAP. The product is designed for that sales purpose. I don't really feel like I can trust it.

I think a sense of Trust is what will win this game.
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  #139  
Old 06.01.2017, 12:01
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

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That would be somewhat jerry-rigged. The mic on Echo is specialised to be uni-directional. Interesting is that it can detect which direction your voice is coming from. If it had a map of the room you are in, in may even provide a more contextual response.

Also, clearly, Amazon wants to open up a sales revenue stream with Echo ASAP. The product is designed for that sales purpose. I don't really feel like I can trust it.

I think a sense of Trust is what will win this game.
anything done with the echo can be done on a phone. in fact, many high end phones already have more than one mic.
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  #140  
Old 06.01.2017, 12:09
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Re: Amazon Echo / Alexa

I suspect phones, in their current form factors, will start to become unnecessary in about 5 years. As devices become more ubiquitous and transparent, it comes down to trustworthy AI services.
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