Now all your home’s Alexa devices work like an intercom

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Amazon’s ‘Drop In’ feature now works across the entire house.

Amazon Alexa users can now use the “Drop In” feature to talk with all of their Echo devices at once, Amazon announced on its blog. Previously, Drop In messages could only be sent to one other Alexa-enabled device at a time — a user with an Alexa device in the bedroom could “drop in” on a device in the kitchen and have a two-way conversation.

Now, you can use a device to send a message to all Echo devices in the house at once. This could be helpful with asking group questions like, “Does anyone want anything from the grocery store?” according to the Amazon blog. To start a group Drop In conversation, you can ask Alexa to “Drop In everywhere.”

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More than 100 million Alexa devices have been sold

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More than 100 million devices with Amazon’s Alexa assistant pre-installed have been sold, the company said Friday.

The new metric, revealed by Amazon devices SVP Dave Limp in an interview with The Verge, showcases just how quickly the company has crammed the voice assistant into disparate hardware devices and shoved them out the door. The company did not distinguish further how many of these items were Amazon-built Echo devices and how many were designed by third-party OEMs.

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Smart speakers are becoming so popular, more people will use them than wearable tech products this year

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Smart speaker users will reach 76.5 million by 2020, according to the latest eMarketer forecast.

The average smart speaker user is still an older, millennial male, but the devices are gaining traction with younger, Gen X women with kids.

Amazon Echo is the most popular, but is losing share. Google Home will likely slow Echo’s growth.

Smart speaker adoption has been so strong, US adult users will surpass wearable users this year.

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Yes, Alexa is recording mundane details of your life, and it’s creepy as hell

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I’m not kicking our smart speaker out of the house just yet, but the consequences of having it in my family’s life are becoming clear.

Since last year I’ve had a smart speaker in my living room—an Echo Dot. My family uses it mostly to ask Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, to play music. But after I saw a report that an Alexa-enabled speaker owned by a family in Portland, Oregon, had recorded a conversation and sent it to a contact, I started wondering: what is it picking up on at my house when we’re not talking to it directly?

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Amazon made an Echo Dot for kids, and it costs $30 more than the original

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Those with an Amazon Echo device in their homes have likely already exposed their children to Alexa. Now, Amazon wants to give kids the opportunity to turn Alexa into their friend with the new Echo Dot Kids Edition. The hockey puck-like smart speaker doesn’t look too different from the original Dot, but it comes with new “Amazon FreeTime” content that gives kids new ways to interact with Alexa and parents more control over those interactions.

New parental controls and FreeTime Unlimited subscription coming soon, too.

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1 out of 5 US homes with wifi now have a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo

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Smart speakers have been a hot ticket item in recent years. Products by Amazon, Google and Apple, which allow consumers to play music, order food and get news just by talking to the device, have already experienced a surprisingly strong adoption in the US market.

This chart by Statista which is based on comScore data, shows that 20% of homeowners with wifi have at least one active smart speaker. That percentage will be inching up as well, if the past few months are any indication of the device’s steadily increasing adoption rate.

Via Business Insider 

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Alexa Is a Revelation for the Blind

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Legally blind since age 18, my father missed out on the first digital revolution.

“Is it ‘Electra?’” my father asks, leaning in close to the Amazon Echo my mother has just installed. Leaning in close is his trademark maneuver: Dad has been legally blind since age 18, the result of a horrible car crash in 1954. He has lived, mostly successfully, with limited vision for the 64 years since.

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