Home / Tag Archives: alexa

Tag Archives: alexa

The Alexa-Cortana integration is now available in a public preview

Microsoft today will begin to allow Alexa device owners to summon its own virtual assistant, Cortana, through their Echo devices, as well as call for Alexa via Cortana. The integration between the two voice computing platforms was previously announced and briefly demoed on stage in May at Microsoft’s Build 2018 event in Seattle. But the companies at the time hadn’t given a timeline as to when the integrations between the two assistants would be available to the public. Now, the companies are taking the first steps towards that goal with a public preview of their Alexa-Cortana collaboration. Customers who want to test out this new feature will be able to try it starting today, August 15, Microsoft says. The integration will continue to roll out in the days ahead, so you may not immediately gain access, we should note. Initially, customers will be able to call up Microsoft’s Cortana through their Echo devices and enable Amazon’s Alexa on Windows 10 devices and on Harman Kardon Invoke speakers. Later, it will arrive on mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Once enabled, the integration will allow Cortana users to ask Alexa to shop Amazon, manage their Amazon orders, and use some of Alexa’s third-party skills. Alexa users, meanwhile, will gain access to Cortana’s knowledge about productivity features including calendar management, their day at a glance, and their email. For example, Echo device owners can say to Cortana things like “What new emails do I have?,” “What is on my calendar today?,” and “Add ‘order flowers’ to my to-do list.” And Windows device users can click the microphone button or say “Hey Cortana, open Alexa,” followed by queries like “What are today’s shopping deals?,” “Set the temperature to 72 degrees,” or “Open Jeopardy.” The companies say that more skills and features will be added in time. “With this public preview, we want users to engage with the experience and provide feedback so our teams can continue to improve the experience,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “Our goal is to create a seamless integration and this is our first step towards achieving that goal.” When Microsoft and Amazon first discussed making their assistants work together, there was some skepticism about how it would all work

Read More »

Alexa will soon be available in even more cars

Amazon is giving more automakers access to the tools needed to integrate Alexa into their vehicles' infotainment systems. The company released its Alexa Auto software development kit today, making the tools accessible to all developers via GitHub. In...

Read More »

Amazon launches an Alexa Auto SDK to bring its voice assistant to more cars

Amazon this morning announced the launch of a toolkit for developers that will allow them to integrate Alexa into cars’ infotainment systems. The “ Alexa Auto SDK ” is available now on GitHub , and includes all the core Alexa functions like streaming media, smart home controls, weather reports, and support for Alexa’s tens of thousands of third-party skills. It will also add new features just for auto users, like navigation and search, Amazon says. The source code and function libraries will be in C++ and Java, allowing the vehicles to process audio inputs and triggers, then connect with the Alexa service, and handle the Alexa interactions. In addition, Amazon is offering a variety of sample apps, build scripts, and documentation supporting Android and QNX operating systems on ARM and x86 processor architectures. The SDK will allow for streaming media from Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and Audible, for the time being, and will allow customers to place calls by saying the contact’s name or phone number. These will be launched over the native calling service in the vehicle. Plus, it can tap into a native turn-by-turn navigation system, when customers specify an address or point of interest, or if they cancel the navigation. A local search feature lets customers search for restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, hotels, and other business, and navigate to the location. This is not the first time Alexa has come to cars, by any means. Amazon has been working with car makers like Ford , BMW , SEAT , Lexus and   Toyota , who have been integrating the voice assistant into select vehicles

Read More »