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[Deal Alert] Amazon Echo with SmartThings hub and 2 Element smart bulbs down to $115 ($105 off) on Amazon

For those of you who are looking to get into the smart home game, Amazon has something in store. The retailer is currently offering its 2nd-gen Echo, a Samsung SmartThings hub, and two Element smart lightbulbs for just $114.99, which is over $100 less than the bundle's regular price.

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Alexa Skills Kit and Voice Service expand to Italy and Spain, Echo devices coming later in the year

Amazon has announced that the Echo and other Alexa speakers from Bose and Sonos are coming to Spain and Italy later this year. In preparation for that, it is now expanding the Alexa Skills Kit and Voice Service to these two countries.

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You may soon be able to control your Xbox One with Alexa and Google Assistant

Xbox One users, here's a piece news for you on Android Police, of all places. According to Windows Central, you may soon be able to control your gaming/entertainment console with voice commands, thanks to the addition of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support.

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New Alexa skill lets you manage your Amazon Store Card by voice

Tired of paying your Amazon Store Card bill by hand like a cave person? A new Alexa skill lets you manage your account—performing tasks like checking your balance, reviewing recent transactions, and paying your bill—by talking to your Echo device or app.

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Inaudible smart speaker commands can be hidden in music, researchers say

In 2016, a group of students from University of California, Berkeley, and Georgetown University demonstrated that they were able to issue unheard commands to smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo by hiding them in white noise. Now, two of those Berkeley students have published a paper that says they can hide such commands in recordings of music or even human speech.

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Amazon teases upcoming Fire TV Cube streaming device

A new page appeared on Amazon yesterday: white text on a blue backdrop, asking "What is Fire TV Cube?" with a button to sign up for email updates. The question, obviously rhetorical, is a clear teaser for a new Fire TV device.

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Amazon is reportedly readying home robots for 2019 release

Amazon is working in earnest on domestic robots, Bloomberg reports. The project is being called Vesta, after the goddess of home and family in Roman mythology. Amazon apparently hopes to begin testing the robots by the end of this year, and is targeting a 2019 launch date.

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Amazon Echo products and Alexa now available in Ireland

Amazon and Google are in a race to expand their voice assistants to more countries. While both Google Assistant and Alexa are already available in the United Kingdom, neither have a presence in Ireland. Today, Amazon announced that Alexa is officially available in the country, with some of the company's Echo speakers also making a debut.

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Taking a page from Kindle, Amazon’s Alexa is everywhere—can Google's Assistant catch up?

When Amazon upended the publishing industry with the advent of the Kindle, it also paved the way for an approach to luring consumers into a larger sphere of influence, a strategy that is now being successfully adapted for the new age of smart speakers and digital assistants. Both the Kindle and the Echo provide consumers with valuable services, encouraging them to shop and receive content within Amazon's ecosystem. Most of the experiences of its Kindle and Echo hardware also come in the form of apps or services that appear on other manufacturers' devices without additional charge to the consumer, making that connection even stronger.

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Kohler wants you to talk to your toilet and mirror which is not at all weird

Kohler, a maker of kitchen and bath products, seems to believe that you should never have to touch their products if at all possible. They're coming to CES with a new voice and motion-control platform so that you can get Alexa in your bathroom mirror, operate your kitchen faucet with gestures, and talk to your toilet. Not kidding!

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