Amazon opens up the voice control technology behind Alexa

Software and app developers can now use the technology that powers Amazon’s Alexa assistant to add voice control to their creations. Amazon has opened up the service called “Lex” in what Reuters describes as a move to become the top player in voice-controlled computing. According to Werner Vogels, the e-commerce titan’s CTO, Lex could lead to assistants and chatbots that sound friendlier and more human than their predecessors.

Lex, after all, lives in the cloud instead of within the actual apps and software. That means Amazon can make it better and better by continuously feeding it data from people’s interactions with Alexa. While the company’s Echo sales will likely never match Apple’s iPhone sales, Vogels said people use Alexa for various tasks around the house, but they tend to interact with their phones’ voice assistants only when they’re inside their vehicles.

Still, the company needs more sources of data, so it will also feed Lex people’s interactions with third-party developers’ apps that use the service. We’re guessing that data includes whatever it collects from its call center clients. If you’ll recall, Amazon started prepping a software package that includes Lex and another one of its developer services called Polly earlier this year. The package can field questions from customers’ phone calls and texts, giving the retail giant’s software more samples to learn from.

Source: Reuters

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The DxO One gets Wi-Fi control and a suite of accessories

If you take a lot of photos with your smartphone, you’ve probably noticed they’re not always up to snuff with the kind of images you’d see from a DSLR camera.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options out there to improve your iPhone’s camera either unless you go for post-processing apps. Luckily, there’s the DxO One, meant to do just that, including a Lightning connector and an image sensor that’s meant to improve the way you shoot photos with your phone.

But any good camera needs accessories, and the DxO’s getting a new suite of accessories including a special shell for waterproofing, weatherproofing and keeping the One itself safe from the elements while you take it on the go. There’s also a stand, Wi-Fi remote control, and an optical adapter for you to attach new filters over the One’s lens.

In a pretty exciting turn of events, you can use the Wi-Fi remote to aconnect to locate networks or your iPhone directly even when not in range of networks, which makes it a pretty nifty little device, and it’s coming to all DxO One camera owners with the 2.0 software update in September.

The September update also includes a slew of other options like Mobile Smart Lighting, improved power consumption, and a new autofocus mode in addition to a white balance setting meant for shooting photos underwater.

You can pick up the outdoor case for $ 49 and the filter adapter for $ 25, with the stand going for $ 20. It’s a decent camera. You’ll probably want to try and keep it protected.

Via: TechCrunch

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