The Echo Show just makes sense.
Users of Amazon’s video-capable Echo products can now watch video news briefs, check the latest forecast video or even stream the radar from WRAL News.
WRAL on Friday launched an update to its Amazon Echo skill, enabling video features exclusively for the Echo Show and the newly released Echo Spot. These devices feature Echo’s signature Alexa AI interface, but with the added functionality afforded by a screen, including the ability to watch videos, follow step-by-step recipes, sing along to songs Karaoke style, or even make video calls.
With video now a part of the Echo platform, it only made sense for WRAL to expand the functionaly of its skill, which offers the unique ability to hear the top stories read by WRAL’s anchors and reporters, and the latest weather forecast for the Triangle region of North Carolina from WRAL’s team of expert meteorologists.
“Not only can Amazon Echo users hear a familiar voice when they want the top news of the day, Echo Show and Echo Spot users can now watch their favorite WRAL personalities on their devices using the same familiar invocations,” said Jake Seaton, digital product manager for WRAL.com. “By saying, ‘Ask WRAL for the weather,’ first thing in the morning, you’ll get the day’s forecast straight from Elizabeth Gardner.”
The update also includes the new ability to stream DUALDoppler5000 directly on the Echo video device. Users can invoke the radar by saying, “Ask WRAL for the radar.” This feature is limited to video devices, and is not available on the original Echo or Echo Dot.
“Especially during severe weather, it’s nice to ask Alexa to open WRAL’s radar and leave it playing on the device,” Seaton said.
To access WRAL news and weather, users should say: “Alexa, enable WRAL.” Echo owners can also use the Alexa app on their smartphone or tablet to enable content from WRAL by tapping Skills from the main menu, searching for WRAL and enabling the skill.
Once the WRAL skill has been enabled, users can say, “Alexa, open WRAL,” or “Alexa, ask WRAL for the weather,” or “Alexa, ask WRAL for my news.”
WRAL is also available as a flash briefing, which is Alexa’s native feature that delivers news and content.
The Amazon Echo is a hands-free, always-on device that responds to voice commands, and delivers information requested by the user through interaction with Amazon’s voice service, Alexa.
Much like Apple’s “Siri” and Google’s “OK, Google,” Alexa is a cloud-based virtual personal assistant that provides voice feedback to user interaction.
Among its features is automating a home’s connected devices, ordering necessities from Amazon.com, hailing an Uber, ordering pizza, playing music, setting a timer or alarm, checking the time, providing weather and traffic updates, and reading the news.
The growth of Amazon’s Echo platform has been huge since the company launched its base model a little more than three years ago, and the 2017 holiday season was one of the biggest for the family of Echo products.
“Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were not only the top-selling Amazon devices this holiday season, but they were also the best-selling products from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon,” the company boasted.
Among the devices selling out during the shopping season, Amazon said its Echo Dot, Echo Buttons and the Echo Spot were in particularly high demand.
According to new research from NPR and Edison Research, 16 percent of American adults — or about 39 million people — own a smart speaker. The research also found that 30 percent of smart speaker owners say the device is replacing time normally spent watching TV.
Thanks to WRAL.com for this capcom story & graphic.