Dave is looking to get his daughter a Polaroid type camera for Christmas. Leo says the Polaroid Pic is very popular and prints small business sized photos. The trick may be finding film, but instant cameras are coming back, so that may not be an issue. The film isn't cheap, however. Kids think they're fun. Leo says they're a great idea for teenagers.
Cindy wants to know about the Amazon Echo. Leo says that the cool thing about the Echo is that Amazon opened it up to create more functions for it, called "Skills." To date, the Amazon Echo has over 3,000 skills it can handle. If she's an Amazon Prime member, she can tell it to buy stuff and ship it to her. She can tell it to stream music, too. If she has a stereo system, she can save money and get the Amazon Dot and plug it in.
Pete is trying to decide between Amazon Echo or Google Home. Leo says he'd definitely pick the Echo. The Echo Dot, a smaller and less expensive version of the Echo, is designed to connect into a speaker system. It's also only $50. It's way ahead of Google Home with hundreds of tasks and recipes that enable Echo to do a variety of things. Google Home is way too new, but chances are, it'll get smarter quicker. Pete could connect the Echo Dot to a speaker and he'll have a stereo. It's amazing.
Ellie can't get Leo's show to play live on her Amazon Echo. Leo says it's on the TuneIn app in Echo and she can just tell it to play TWiT Live. However, Echo can't pronounce L(eye)ve. So she'll have to say L(eh)VE.
Ellie likes the idea of Google Assistant and wonders if it will be coming to home automation like the Amazon Echo. Leo says that the Amazon Echo is a great device and it keeps getting smarter. As for Google Assistant, Google's goal is to have it everywhere, so it likely will be.
Ellie also wants to know if AT&T buying Time Warner will affect her internet access. Leo says no, Time Warner sold it off to Spectrum. The $80 Billion acquisition of Time Warner is all about content.
Ricardo got an Amazon Echo for his birthday and he loves it. He's wondering how smart it can get, though. Leo says it can play music, get the weather, and hundreds of other information gathering techniques based on Echo "recipes." It's getting smarter. Artificial intelligence, thanks to machine learning, is growing by leaps and bounds, except for Siri on the Apple platform. Siri is actually getting dumber because Apple values privacy more than gathering the data needed to make it smarter.
Ray has a bunch of remotes and he hates having to switch between them. He's about to update to a 4K TV and wants to know if he can control everything with one voice operated remote control? Could the Amazon Echo do that? The Logitech Harmony remote is the best way to go. They also have a separate IR emitter that talks to the RF in the Amazon Echo.
Jeff heard the next generation of the Dot from Amazon has been released and it's cheaper. The Dot is the Echo without speakers and you can add it to your own system. He's annoyed that he just bought the first generation a month before. Leo says that's the way of the world in the tech industry. The first generation of anything is more expensive, and it's usually an early adopter that has to pay the price. He tried talking to Amazon about it but was essentially told "tough luck." Leo says it's probably just a matter of timing.
Tom is calling about the app for using push to talk. He uses one called Roger and it sounds really clear. Leo says that's because it uses data, not the cellular network.
Does the Echo support TuneIn? Leo says not yet. They'll have to update it. Leo has heard that Sonos is going to support the Echo next year and you can use TuneIn on the Sonos. So that looks good. Amazon just did support for Spotify, so they're making progress in that direction. So in time, it should happen.
Mark just upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. He likes it, but he misses the infrared features. Is there any alternative to that? Leo says Samsung probably took the feature out because there are third party devices that do a much better job.
Usually you would connect to an IR blaster via Bluetooth and it then translates the instructions to the TV. The device is called Blumoo Smart Control Device. It connects to a phone via Bluetooth, but it can also support the Amazon Echo, so Mark can have it talk to his TV.