Today has been a big day for announcements from Amazon.
The Amazon Show has been out in the US now for some time. The Show has now been listed on the UK and German stores. A release date of November the 16th has been set however you can preorder.
Release Date: November 16th, 2017
For anyone interested in Smart assistants such as the Google Home or Amazon Echo the BBC News show Click heavily focuses on Smart assistants.
The piece raises some interesting questions regarding the security of trusting such devices for controlling the home environment. The piece also raises the potential that as the services increase their knowledge about you that they will start tailoring prices for items you purchase using voice assistants. This really that far fetched. Amazon has fallen foul of this several times in the past.
Yesterday Amazon announced a new API that skill developers can now take advantage of, the device address API. Up until now if you needed to know the locality of the user you would be required to prompt the user to tell you (of course making sure you made use of the appropriate locality slots).
Google has finally confirmed roughly when the Google Home will be released in the UK. During an interview with the BBC at the Mobile World Conference, Google's Rick Osterloh confirmed that Google's home assistant would be released by the end of June.
The Amazon Alexa team recently posted on the Alexa blog. The Amazon Echo was initially released on November 6th, 2014 to Prime members (and June 23rd, 2015 for non-Prime users). To have achieved sp many skills in such a short period of time is made even more impressive by the fact that skill developers currently cannot monetize their skill.
Over the last hour, there have been reports that a new over the air update is following out for the Amazon Tap. At present, the Tap requires a button to be pressed prior to being able to invoke a command. Well, the update reportedly changes this and allows the Tap to listen out for the wake word in the same fashion as the Echo and Dot.
I have checked the Amazon help and support page, however, the latest firmware is listed as 564197320 which introduced:
With the release of the Amazon Echo in the UK 1 of the main complaints that users have had is the lack of If This Then That (IFTTT) support. Well, today Amazon has brought some good news to those awaiting the support, UK Echo's now support the IFTTT service. The bad news is that German users are still awaiting support.
So what is IFTTT
IFTTT is a collection of applets that can carry out a number of actions based on a trigger. For example, it would be possible to activate an applet that turns the lights off automatically when you leave the house.
Amazon have partnered with Hackster.io to run a contest. If you are creating a skill that utilises a 3rd party public API this would be the perfect time to release that skill and enter the contest.
So What Are The Contest Details?
There are 2 categories for entering (you do not specify the category you are entering, this seems to be decided by the judges). The categories are Creative Skills and Useful Skills.