Amazon Fire 7 And HD 8 Tablets Updated To Function As Hands-Free Alexa Speakers
Don't feel like buying an Amazon Echo? The Fire HD 10 can summon help from Alexa hands-free, with the screen on or off, and the tablet on battery.
Just in case Amazon didn't dominate the entry-level smart home enough, it seems it also has its eyes set on making Alexa-controlled lamps your lighting of choice in the home. Currently, to activate Alexa on the Amazon Fire 7 or Fire HD 8, you pick up either tablet and tap the Home button until a blue line appears. You definitely shouldn't expect a tablet's speakers to outperform the regular Echo, but a hands-free Alexa could be convenient when you're traveling. The feature will arrive through a software update.
The catch is that new feature now only works for "one-way announcements", meaning someone can use an Echo speaker to relay a message like "Dinner is ready" to other speakers, but no one else will be able to respond from the other Echo devices. So, you can use the tablet to control your smart home, fetch weather reports, or even playback music. For example, you can bring up a feed from an Alexa-enabled security camera installed at your home.
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Which Echo devices support the feature?
Voice triggering can now be enjoyed on your Fire HD 8 and Fire 7.
Amazon said the new hands-free model will be available to Fire HD 7 and 8 users when their device is either plugged into a power source or the screen is lit up and in use.
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These smart speakers also feature "Voice Match" which recognises your voice and accordingly gives you personalised information. Google India has tweeted earlier today that the speakers are coming soon without confirming the launch date.