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TV news anchor triggers Alexa to attempt ordering dollhouses


That would appear to be the only conclusion that can be drawn after a careless television presenter accidentally set off Alexa devices across San Diego, California following a report about people (ie: fools and children) making accidental purchases. Currently, Amazon devices will respond to "Alexa", "Echo", or "Amazon". Today, I control my TV and some of my lights by voice, and look forward to putting my home heating and cooling systems into Alexa's hands as well. It also features thousands of specialized skills, like the one Grange Insurance has launched.

In 2015, an Arkansas man was found dead in a hot tub, and investigators issued a warrant to Amazon, requesting the company turn over audio recordings and information captured by an Echo smart speaker owned by the suspect.

Other times, Echo is out-of-sight, out-of-mind, until Alexa randomly chimes in with something like, "I didn't understand the question I heard".

"Customers can ask Alexa to set an alarm, or build to-do lists, get the weather, traffic reports, and more". Just a few days ago, a six-year old in Dallas, Texas was using an Amazon Echo when she naively asked, "Alexa, can you play dollhouse with me and get me a dollhouse?". The devices listen to learn more about you to predict the things you want. Amazon's personal assistant complied.

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Yup. Jim Patton, a TV news anchor on San Diego's CW-6, was bantering about a media report of a young girl ordering a dollhouse, and - lo-and-behold - viewers' homes across the region reported that their Alexa devices had then attempted to make similar purchases. "I [now] tell my kids Alexa is a very good listener".

Brooke Neitzel, 6, poses with some of the items she accidentally purchased off of her family's Amazon Echo Dot.

Looking at Amazon's holiday sales of its smart home devices, it is easy to see that consumers are jiving with Amazon's Alexa. Purchase by voice can also be turned off.

Alexa scored well at CES 2017, if the metric of measurement is how many new products included Alexa-integration. Google will certainly try to narrow the lead that Amazon has, using its Google Home smart speaker, as will Apple, which has long had designs on the smart home.

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