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The Amazon Echo Just Got a Bunch of Features for Eurovision

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Echo with Touch Screen

Meanwhile, Oras said she has disabled the calling feature on her phone and Echo Dot, a process that requires calling Amazon support personally and requesting the feature be disabled. And each one now has a direct line into my home. But if you have an Echo device lying around the house or you're planning to get one soon, then this is probably something more convenient for you. This means that owners will be unable to call people on their phones unless they have the Alexa app installed.

Voice analytics firm VoiceLabs on Thursday rolled out the advertising platform, Sponsored Messages, for Amazon Echo, giving brands a way to engage with consumers using the voice-activated device. Amazon Alexa may have achieved the 10,000 skills milestone earlier previous year but most of the skills haven't been monetized till date.

Alexa recently made some big strides when Amazon announced the Echo Look, your personal digital stylist.

Currently, the company has over 1,300 voice developers on its platform, and many of these developers expressed an interest in finding the right way to serve their consumers, while being able to support and invest in their voice application. This absence, however, is no longer out of the question as Amazon revealed its third Echo device today, the Amazon Echo Show. Amazon also got up a video conferencing startup called Biba. But it could lead to awkward situations if the receiver wants to reject the call but isn't able to give the command quickly enough.

I've been testing it for a couple of days and I'm blown away by how fun it is to use Alexa to place calls. Who are you supposed to report inappropriate calls or messages to?

If you have a smart garage door, you can command Alexa to open or close it. This FAQ page now says that "Amazon Customer Service is not able to see or review your messages, voice messages, calls, or contacts".

Amazon also released an Alexa Skills Kit nearly two years ago so developers could create new skills and increase the capabilities of Alexa. But even in that case, messages would still appear in your Alexa app; Do Not Disturb only prevents calls and messages from reaching Echo products. There's no block list. A card member can simply ask Alexa, "Alexa, tell me my American Express account balance", and the assistant will provide the information using its voice.

Radiocentre research highlights how listeners respond positively to familiarity - especially music but also voices or straplines - used consistently over time and across media.

Ars has contacted Amazon for comment on VoiceLabs' plans.

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