Samuel Gibbs at The Guardian writes »
Amazon wants its Alexa voice assistant to leave the home and be with you everywhere you go, and is turning to wearable technology to achieve this.
Unveiled at an event in Seattle on Wednesday, Amazon’s new Echo Frames smart glasses, Echo Loop ring and Echo Buds aim to put Alexa on your face, your hand or in your ears.
The $179.99 (£146) Echo Frames are equipped with directional speakers similar to the Bose Frames smart glasses, and have microphones for Alexa, which connects to a phone to read out emails, text messages and other information. The smart glasses do not have a display or camera – seeking to avoid the stigma associated with Google’s Glass – but can be equipped with prescription lenses.
There’s more »
I’m interested to see how many other companies will use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in this and similar ways.
Ben Schoon at 9to5Google writes »
“Apply Thru” helps people take the first step in applying to work at the massive fast-food chain. In the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., users can simply say “Hey Google, talk to McDonald’s Apply Thru.” Over time, the company says that “Hey Google, help me get a job at McDonald’s” will also work.
Once the app has been opened, it will ask the applicant for a few basic bits of information such as their name, job preferences, a phone number, and also their location to find the nearest restaurant. Once those steps have been completed, a text message will be sent to finish the application.
McDonald’s “Apply Thru” is available on Google Assistant via your smartphone, a Google Home speaker or smart display, and also the iOS app.
Read more »
More » ABC News, Engadget, The Telegraph, The Verge, FastCompany
Amazon today rolled out a marathon of products at its fall 2019 devices event. Privacy was mentioned throughout the presentation. Amazon is acutely aware that a large segment of consumers are troubled by Amazon’s personal invasions and lack of transparency.
Dell Cameron at Gizmodo writes »
Today, so-called “privacy” policies are little more than legal disclosures vaguely articulating the numerous ways in which companies, like Amazon, intend to track their customers and gather their personal information
If privacy is dead, we can thank Amazon (among plenty of other companies, of course) for helping arrange its demise.
An in-depth investigation by Bloomberg in April revealed that thousands of human beings were listening to recordings of Alexa users in an attempt to improve its performance. Naturally, the company hid this from everyone, burying the language about it deep in its service terms—which, let’s be honest, no has the time to read.
The company fessed up but also attempted to downplay the invasion…
Privacy advocates have basically given up on Amazon, believing that its promises about protecting its customers are too little and too late. Evan Greer, deputy director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, said in a statement that the company simply cannot be trusted.
“Amazon claims ‘customers control their data’ yet they had plans for 911 calls to trigger all Ring cameras in the surrounding neighborhood to wake up and start recording,” she said. “This is what Amazon does. They make empty statements to sell their products and then continue to build a for-profit, surveillance dragnet without oversight and accountability.”
Read the whole article at Gizmodo »