Alexa

Why do ads use the 'Alexa' trigger word?

Episode 1502

Mark from Myrtle Beach, SC
Amazon Echo

Mark wants to know why broadcast ads will use the 'Alexa' trigger word that could hijack his Echo device. Leo says that in Amazon's commercials, they actually use an inaudible sound behind the trigger word that prevents the device from taking action on it, but it may be that other advertisers don't know about this. Leo says it may even be against Amazon's rules to use trigger words in flash briefings.

What do you think of the Amazon Fire TV Cube?

Episode 1500

GJ from Snohomish, WA
Amazon Fire TV Cube

Leo says the Echo powered Fire TV Cube is cool because all he'd have to do is tell it to watch the show he wants, and it turns on the TV, switches to the right input, and starts the show. Then when he leaves, he can just say "TV off" and everything will turn off, which is nice. GJ noticed it talks about an ARC port with HDMI. Leo says it would like to get CEC and the Audio Return Channel, but it's not required.

GJ also noticed that YouTube Red changed to YouTube Premium. Leo says it's still the same thing, where he would pay a fee for no ads and access to Google's music offering.

Why can't Amazon Echo talk to my Fire Stick?

Episode 1365

Cynthia from Burbank, CA
Amazon Echo

Cynthia wants to control her Amazon Fire Stick with Amazon Alexa, but she can't. Shouldn't it work together? Leo says not necessarily. At least not yet. Alexa is getting smarter all the time, though.

Cynthia can talk to the Fire remote, so she doesn't really need the Echo for that. Since she paid over $180 for it, Leo recommends returning it and get the $50 Echo Dot instead.