Amazon’s Alexa becomes a better conversationalist and can now ask you questions, too – TechCrunch

At its annual hardware event, Amazon today announced new capabilities for its Alexa personal assistant that will allow it to become more personalized as it can now ask clarifying questions and then use this personalized data to interact with the user later on. In addition, Alexa can now join a conversation, too, starting a mode where you don’t have to say ‘hey Alexa’ all the time. With that, multiple users can interact with Alexa and the system will chime in when it’s appropriate (or not — since we haven’t tested…

Read More

Ring gets into automotive security with three new car products, including one debuting first for Teslas – TechCrunch

Amazon -owned Ring is expanding from home and neighborhood security to the automative world, with three new products it debuted today at Amazon’s expansive devices and services extravaganza. These include Ring Car Alarm, Ring Car Cam, and Ring Car Connect – two new devices and one API/hardware combo aimed at automotive manufacturers, respectively. Each of these will be available beginning sometime next year. “Truly since we started Ring, and even back in Doorbot days, people were asking for automotive security,” explained Ring CEO and founder Jamie Siminoff in an interview.…

Read More

Ring to offer opt-in end-to-end encryption for videos beginning later this year – TechCrunch

Ring will be stepping up its efforts to make its security products secure for users by enabling end-to-end video encryption later this year. The company will be providing this toggle in a new page in tits app’s Control Center, which will provide more information about Ring’s current encryption practices, and measures to keep user video secure, until the end-to-end encryption feature goes live. Ring is also taking the covers off a range of new devices today – including its first drone – but Ring CEO and founder Jamie Siminoff says…

Read More

Ring’s newest security camera is a $249 autonomous indoor drone shipping in 2021 – TechCrunch

Ring built its entire business on reinventing the doorbell — and now it’s taking a similar approach to the humble home security camera, with the Ring Always Home Cam, set to be available sometime next year. You might not guess from its name, but this security camera is actually mobile: It’s a drone that flies autonomously throughout your home, to provide you with the view you want of whatever room you want, without having to have video cameras installed in multiple locations throughout your house. The Always Home Cam is…

Read More

Teachers deserve two screens, and Two Screens for Teachers aims to get them just that – TechCrunch

The pandemic has caused K-12 classrooms, chaotic at the best of times, to descend into Zoom call chaos. What’s more, thousands of teachers who must wrangle this new, weird system are doing so with just a single monitor, making it difficult to see their students and the lesson at the same time. Two Screens for Teachers hopes to help out educators with this elementary, but hugely important, home office upgrade. It’s a charity, so right up front we might as well say if you like the idea, you can donate…

Read More

Japanese startup Nature launches Remo 3, its home appliance smart remote, in the U.S. and Canada – TechCrunch

Nature, a Japanese hardware startup that focuses on IoT home devices, announced the launch Remo 3, its home appliance smart remote, in the United States and Canada today. Priced at $129, the Bluetooth-enabled Remo 3 allows people to control multiple appliances that uses an infrared remote, including air conditioners, TVs, robot vacuum cleaners and fans, with their smartphones or smart speakers. Nature claims that its Remo series is Japan’s top smart remote, with over 200,000 units sold so far. The Remo 3, designed to be mounted on a wall, also…

Read More

Pure Watercraft ramps up its electric outboard motors with a $23M series A – TechCrunch

Electric power only started making sense for land vehicles about ten years ago, but now the technology is ready to make the jump into the water. Pure Watercraft hopes that its electric outboard motor can replace a normal gas one for most boating needs under 50 HP — and it just raised $23.4M to hit the throttle. Pure’s outboard works much like a traditional one, but runs on a suitcase-sized battery pack and is, of course, almost silent except for the sound of the turbulence. It’s pretty much a drop-in…

Read More

The Lumos Matrix is the ideal urban bike helmet for a smarter, safer day trip – TechCrunch

With many of us are still more or less confined to our own homes and limited social spaces for the foreseeable future, and for a lot of you, that has led to a rediscovery of the joys of biking. Bike riding is a great way to spend time outdoors exploring your own town or city, and if you’re just getting into exploring this hobby, or if you’re a long-time bike rider looking for an upgrade, the Lumos Matrix smart helmet is a sensible piece of tech with a solid design…

Read More

MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce – TechCrunch

Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees or more, but they can be very costly to produce, and are typically heavy, large lenses that aren’t ideal for use on small cameras like those found on smartphones. This is the first time that…

Read More

Amazon makes Alexa Routines shareable – TechCrunch

Amazon is making it easier for Alexa device owners to use Routines. The feature, which has been around for years, allows Alexa users to combine multiple tasks into a single voice command of their choosing. For example, you could make a routine that turns off your lights, plays relaxing music and locks your doors when you say, “Alexa, goodnight.” A morning routine could read you the headlines and weather forecast, as well as turn on your connected coffee maker. Now, Amazon will allow users to share their favorite routines with…

Read More