Alexa Expands Despite Privacy Issues

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Amazon’s Alexa has more tricks up her sleeve

Alexa was launched in 2014 and since then, people have been singing Alexa in their homes. It’s a go-to partner to play music, give you the news, and just answer whatever questions you have under the sun. Alexa has been a strong competitor for similar systems like Siri and Google Assistant. 

The Echo devices increased Amazon’s revenue, especially on  Prime Day. Of the 76 million smart speakers in US homes and businesses, 70% of which are Echo devices. 

Smart speakers versus privacy issues

Other companies producing smart speakers are facing the same issues that Alexa is facing. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook all have long admitted that they are indeed listening to recorded conversations in smart assistant. 

Amazon, on the other hand, launched new privacy-friendly features to appease its customers. Bret Kinsella, Ai researcher of Voiceboat.ai appreciated the company’s effort to respond to their customers’ plea.

Amazon’s spokesperson shared in a statement that they aim to provide their customers with the best experiences and privacy choices. They also want to provide their customers with control of their privacy options including the ability to delete voice recordings.

Alexa-powered functionalities

Despite the tension, Amazon continues to grow its smart speaker devices as plans of Alexa-powered wearables are making rounds. One of the new features is called Alexa Show and Tell. 

Alexa show and tell

Amazon partnered up with the blind employees from the Vista Center for the Blind in Satan Cruz to come up with this feature. It’s made specifically for the blind and those with very poor vision and the goal is that with their Echo Show, they can ask Alexa to identify the object they’re holding. This is perfect for packaged goods including canned foods and pantry items.

Alexa wireless earbud with a built-in fitness tracker 

Additionally, a new Alexa wearable code-named, Puget is in the works. It is rumored to be a combination of AirPods and Fitbit and powered by Alexa. Puget measures distance, calories burned and running pace.

This is Amazon’s first product that dwells into the personal health and fitness devices. It’s said that the new product would retail for under $100. It’s cheaper than its potential competitors such as Apple’s Airpods. 

Amazon is pushing beyond and keeps on updating and revamping their products.

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