Connect with us

Tech

Amazon launches $1,000, voice-controlled home robot called Astro – Financial Post

Published

 on


Robot is a screen on wheels that works with the company’s Alexa voice software

Article content

Amazon.com Inc. on Tuesday unveiled a home robot called Astro, a screen on wheels that works with the company’s Alexa voice software.

Advertisement

Article content

The US$1,000 bot, which Bloomberg first reported was in development in 2018, was shown at an Amazon event on Tuesday checking on pets while a user was away and following a child through the home during a video call.

The device’s screen, which by default displays a pair of circles to imitate eyes, is capable of travelling about a meter per second. It includes a periscope to expand the camera’s field of view.

Amazon's Astro robot.
Amazon’s Astro robot. Photo by Handout/Amazon via Reuters

“Customers don’t just want Alexa on wheels,” said Dave Limp, Amazon devices and services chief. “We’ve embodied it with a unique persona that’s all its own.”

Limp said the robot is part of an Amazon program that makes devices still under development available. Astro will be sold on an invitation-only basis later this year.

Advertisement

Article content

Also new:

  • A smart thermostat in partnership with Honeywell International Inc. The US$60 device, which will sell for as little as US$10 with rebates, is a potential competitor to Alphabet Inc.’s Google Nest.
  • An Echo device with a wall-mounted 15-inch screen that can stream Prime Video and Netflix, display calendars and comes with a custom-built chip to help process voice commands.
  • A tie-up with the Walt Disney Co. to put Echo devices in the company’s theme parks and hotels. Expected next year, they’ll be equipped with new software, called Hey, Disney!, built on the technology behind Amazon’s Alexa. That will enable visitors to interact with Disney characters and summon Alexa for other tasks.
  • A new version of its fitness tracker, called Halo View, that incorporates a small screen for the first time. It will cost US$80, Amazon says. A new service, called Halo Fitness, targets major users of wrist-worn devices.
  • Glow, a device that combines an 8-inch screen for video chatting with a projector that displays images on an adjacent 19-inch “touch-sensitive” projection area. The pitch is for kids to connect with loved ones by doing puzzles or drawing together. Available to begin with on an invite-only basis, the device costs US$250.

Advertisement

Article content

The Seattle-based company, which flopped in its attempt to launch a smartphone line, has nevertheless built a massive consumer electronics business around its voice-controlled Echo smart speakers and accompanying Alexa software. Other hot sellers include Fire TV streaming sticks and home security equipment from Ring, the Southern California smart doorbell maker Amazon acquired in 2018. Amazon has held new product unveilings in each of the last several years, an effort to position itself at the centre of the burgeoning market for smart-home gadgets.

Amazon’s devices unit has been a frequent target of criticism, from privacy advocates who question the wisdom of always-on microphones in the home, and civil liberties groups alarmed by Ring’s partnerships with police departments and security practices. Those doubts haven’t derailed Amazon’s sales.

Advertisement

Article content

  1. The union's efforts to reach Amazon workers stretch from British Columbia to southern Ontario.

    ‘Full steam ahead’: Unionization efforts underway at 9 Amazon facilities across Canada

  2. Amazon's warehouse in Nisku, Alta.

    Amazon faces labour battle in Canada as Teamsters file for vote at Alberta fulfilment centre

  3. Amazon says not screening for marijuana can boost the number of delivery job applicants by as much as 400 per cent.

    Amazon’s answer to a crippling delivery driver shortage: recruit pot smokers

  4. Amazon has announced plans to hire 1,800 new corporate and technology employees at its Canadian offices in 2021, including its Vancouver and Toronto tech hubs.

    Competition for tech workers heats up as Amazon opens up 1,800 new jobs in Canada

Meanwhile, the company has worked to burnish its privacy credentials, offering Alexa users more granular options to delete voice recordings captured by Amazon devices, encrypting videos picked up by Ring, and asking police departments to publicly request footage they want for investigations.

Amazon earlier this month announced its first line of televisions, as well as an update to its Kindle e-reader line. Bloomberg News reported last week that Amazon was working on a larger Echo with a wall-mountable screen, a TV sound bar, and more advanced smart-speaker technology for use in cars. The company has also considered developing an Alexa-powered wearable device for children.

Bloomberg.com

Advertisement

In-depth reporting on the innovation economy from The Logic, brought to you in partnership with the Financial Post.

Software solutions and services to help organizations navigate thousands of grants and incentives, North America-wide.

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

Apple Shares New 'Movie Magic' Shot on iPhone 13 Pro Video – MacRumors

Published

 on


Apple today continued with its long-running “Shot on iPhone” series, uploading another “Experiments” video that focuses on the camera capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro.

The “Movie Magic” video features Dong Hoon Jun and visual artist James Thornton explaining how they shot a short sci-fi film. The video highlights various effects that can be captured with the ‌iPhone 13 Pro‌ and a set of props like hyperspeed, an outer space look, anti-gravity, a cloudscape, and more.

Related Stories

Apple today shared another video in its ongoing Shot on iPhone series, with the new ad focusing on filming techniques to demonstrate how easy it can be to make a movie on an iPhone.
The video walks through using the Ultra Wide camera for unique perspectives and it demonstrates different lighting effects that can be used to make a cinematic feel.
There’s a technique on a DIY crane shot…

Halide’s New Macro Mode Lets You Take Close-Up Photos Without an iPhone 13 Pro

iPhone 13 Pro models feature an upgraded Ultra Wide camera with autofocus that enables macro photography, allowing users to take close-up photos of flowers, insects, and other objects that are as close as 2cm to the camera lens.
Apple’s Macro Mode is limited to iPhone 13 Pro models, but those with older iPhones can now get in on the action, as Halide today announced that it has updated its…

You Could See Your Doctor Using an iPhone 13 Soon: Here’s Why

An iPhone 13 feature “will innovate patient eye care and telemedicine,” according to a San Diego-based doctor who has found an unexpected use for one of the device’s new abilities.
Detailed in a post on LinkedIn, opthalmologist and digital health specialist Dr. Tommy Korn explained that he has been using the iPhone 13 Pro Max to take high-quality macro images of patients’ eyes.
The iPhone …

Apple Shares Guided Video Tour of iPhone 13 and 13 Pro

Apple today published a seven minute video positioned as a tour of the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, with the walkthrough coinciding with the pre-orders that are now live.
Filmed at the Tower Theater Apple Store in Los Angeles, the tour highlights the four available sizes, camera technology like Cinematic Mode and improved low-light performance, the Ceramic Shield display and IP68 water resistance,…

Everything New in iOS 15.1 Beta 3: ProRes Video and Macro Mode Toggle for iPhone 13 Pro Users

Apple today released the third beta of iOS 15.1 to developers for testing purposes, and the update introduces some new camera features for iPhone 13 Pro users.
ProRes Video
Today’s beta adds support for ProRes video capture with the standard iPhone camera app. It can be toggled on by opening up the Settings app and selecting the “Camera” section. From there, tap on “Formats” and toggle on…

Shooting 4K ProRes Video Requires iPhone 13 Pro With at Least 256GB Storage

The new iPhone 13 Pro models support 4K ProRes video recording, but there’s a catch if you want to capture video at the highest quality – you need an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max with at least 256GB of storage space.
On Apple’s tech specs page for the new devices and in the press release announcing the new iPhone 13 Pro models, Apple says that if you have an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max…

You May Not Want to Buy the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro: Here’s Why

Users considering purchasing the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max with the base level 128GB of storage should be aware that it misses out on functionality that comes with higher storage configurations.
One of the main new features to come to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max this year is ProRes video recording capability. Aimed at professional videographers, the ProRes codec offers…

iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Unboxing and Honest First Impressions

It’s iPhone 13 launch day, and customers around the world are receiving their iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max orders, plus the new devices are also in Apple retail locations. We picked up one of the new iPhone 13 models and both of the iPhone 13 Pro models for a quick unboxing and an honest overview of the feature set.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. …

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

AirPods 3 make it easier to skip songs. Here's how to use the force sensor – CNET

Published

 on


AirPods 3 give you another way to control audio playback.


Apple/CNET

Apple unveiled the AirPods 3 on Monday at its October launch event (here’s how to buy the new AirPods). The latest wireless earbuds sport a new design, spatial audio for a more immersive listening experience, faster charging and better battery life, as well as sweat and water resistance. 

Apple’s force sensor, featured on the AirPod Pro stem, is also now available on the AirPods 3, which means it’s easier to play or pause music, skip songs (or audiobooks and podcasts) and answer and end calls. 

Here’s how it works.

Control audio with force sensor on AirPods 3 earbud

  • Play or pause audio: Press the force sensor on the stem of one of your AirPods once.
  • Skip forward: Double-press the stem.
  • Skip backward: Triple-press the stem.

Phone calls with force sensor on AirPods 3 earbud

  • Answer a call: Press the force sensor on the stem.
  • Decline a call or send it to voicemail: Double-press the sensor on the stem. 

For more, check out how to buy the new AirPods 3 and everything that was announced at Apple’s October event.

Correction, Oct. 20: A previous version of this article mistakenly said that the new AirPods case contained a force sensor. The force sensor is only found in the new AirPods 3.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Tech

U.S. lawmakers urge speedy action on U.S semiconductor chips funding

Published

 on

A bipartisan group of 38 U.S. House lawmakers on Thursday urged leaders in Congress to immediately set a path to advance legislation providing $52 billion for U.S. semiconductor production including $2 billion in support for chips used by the automotive industry.

The  U.S. Senate voted 68-32 in June to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology, including providing $52 billion for chips, but the measure has stalled in the House.

The House lawmakers in a letter warned of the “dire consequences the automotive industry as a whole—and the nation—faces if we fail to advance legislation soon.”

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson)

Continue Reading

Trending