Mobile Devices

Amazon brings GPS-primarily based navigation

Amazon is making it less difficult for unique tool makers to construct fully-featured headphones, wearables, and earbuds powered by Alexa. To this quit, the Seattle organization today introduced in a blog post that the Alexa Mobile Accessory (AMA) Kit — the software program stack that permits devices to faucet Alexa for song playback, clever home device manipulate, calendar management, and tens of hundreds of 1/3-birthday celebration competencies — is gaining features inside the shape of vicinity-conscious responses and get entry to more tune services.

Additionally, Amazon spotlighted new dev kits and white-label solutions from Knowles and My Music Group.

Now, Alexa built-in gadgets that put into effect the AMA protocol — which routes voice instructions thru Bluetooth to a paired Android or iOS tool strolling the Alexa associate app — can take advantage of GPS-based region aid, allowing users to ask for neighborhood climate records, movie instances, and searches, or for instructions and visitors updates using Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps. Those gadgets also have to get admission to an expanded range of music services, including Amazon Music, Pandora, Audible, Kindle, Sirius XM, Gimme Radio, and greater as of this week, new wake-word engines from Amazon, Retune, and others that deliver fingers-free stories.

As for the aforementioned turnkey solutions, there are 3 from which to choose: the Knowles AISonic SmartMic Headset, and My Music Group’s BarbetSound AskMe and BarbetSound TalkEasy.

The AISonic SmartMic Headset — the first Amazon-certified development kit for wearables with voice-initiated Alexa capability — capabilities Knowles’ IA611 SmartMic chip, which combines a mic with a low-electricity digital signal processor (DSP) core in a single compact bundle. It’s paired with the Bestechnic BES2000i BT MCU (which incorporates the AMA protocol stack and a wake word engine from Retune) and, particularly uniquely, its structure lets in sure additives to stay in low energy mode (much less than 1mA ) even as the SmartMic video display units the microphone audio for the Alexa wake phrase.

The BarbetSound AskMe and BarbetSound TalkEasy both implement the AMA protocol to connect to the Alexa mobile app, but that’s in which their similarities stop. The AskMe — and Alexa integrated Bluetooth headphone with cushioned ear cups and foldable design — sports activities a microphone and 12mW transducer output, similarly to a chargeable 300mAh battery lasts up to ten hours at maximum extent. Meanwhile, the TalkEasy — an Alexa built-in Bluetooth earbud — has a microphone and 8mW transducer output, with a 70mAh battery that gets 4 hours on a fee.

Amazon first added the AMA Kit in January 2018, beforehand of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. To begin with, it changed into: made to be had to choose producers like Jabra, Bose, and Sony, however, have become common to be had last November.

June Steam hardware survey: The Rift-Vive cap shrinks … form of

We took a month off in May (forgive us! E3!); however, June’s Steam Hardware Survey effects are in. But certainly, they don’t show lots of exchange in the common landscape.

The Oculus Rift still leads the rate with 44.12% of the general VR headset use on Steam. Pairing the forty.76% the proportion that HTC Vive has with the 1. Sixty-six % share of the Vive Pro, HTC is at forty-two. Forty-two %. That’s a distinction of just 1.7% between the 2 headsets. That’s approximately half of the remaining month’s distinction of 3.82%. However, it’s no longer as easy because it all appears.

We still don’t realize if this month’s effects include the Oculus Rift S in its findings. We’ve reached out to Valve to invite, but given the results organization the Vive and Vive Pro, otherwise, it doesn’t appear probable. It even has separate listings for Rift’s DK1 and Dk2 headsets. Similarly, we don’t know if those effects encompass the newly-released Vive Pro Eye. And, of the route, they honestly don’t include Valve’s new headset, the Index, which began arriving on people’s doorways right at the cease of June.

If Rift S is omitted, then it’s now not surprising to peer Vive benefit floor. Oculus stopped promoting the original Rift months in the past now in training for Rift S launch.

Rounding out this month’s effects is Windows VR’s eleven.Thirteen% proportion. That’s a modest leap over last month’s 10.99%.

Either way, we’re still looking ahead to when these headsets are nicely listed (pun intended) on Steam. The survey is optionally available and no longer a definitive way of reporting on the VR marketplace percentage, but it’s the nice we’ve were given as it stands.

Gamescom receives its personal VR show off.

Despite growing popularity, VR has usually struggled to standout at primary gaming events. That’s why we put on the primary-ever E3 VR Showcase final month. Next month, although some independent VR developers will band together to showcase their cutting-edge initiatives at one of the industry’s biggest occasions — Gamescom.

The industry exchange show in Cologne, Germany, is getting The VR Games Showcase. Perp Games is placing on the occasion. The exhibit will feature the likes of Fast Travel Games (Apex Construct), Neat Corporation (Budget Cuts), Carbon Studio (The Wizards), Survios (Creed: Rise to Glory), Resolution Games (Bait!), and Cortopia Studios (Wands). Each could be displaying off new titles on their manner to headsets inside the near destiny.

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