Alexa-Enabled Christmas Tree Available On Amazon

An artificial Christmas tree that works with Alexa is now available for purchase on Amazon. For $299.99, this flame-retardant tree has 13 lighting functions for it’s LED lights, including:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Cyan
  • White
  • Multi-color
  • Multi-fade
  • Multi-twinkle
  • Multi-sparkle
  • Blue-sparkle
  • Red-sparkle

Built on a metal stand, the Mr. Christmas seven-foot tall LED tree can be set up within minutes, as the poles are pre-wired. Users can tell Alexa to change the lighting or set it on schedules. With 1,750 branch tips, the Mr. Christmas Christmas Tree is meant to look like a genuine Christmas tree.

Alexa-Enabled Christmas Tree
Alexa-Enabled Christmas Tree

New Alexa Products Announced

At their 2019 keynote event, Amazon announced several new products that work with Alexa, including the Echo Studio smart speaker, the Echo Show 8, Echo Glow, a smart lamp that can be used as a nightlight for kids, and the Echo Dot with Clock. Aside from these speakers, displays and lights, Amazon is also creating Echo Buds, their version of the Apple AirPods, Echo Frames, glasses that give the user access to Alexa, plus Echo Loop, an Alexa-enabled smart ring. All of these products are manufactured by Amazon themselves, whereas the aforementioned artificial Christmas tree is made by Mr. Christmas, a third-party company.

Amazon Is Making Alexa More Conversational

Aside from expanding the line of products that include Alexa, Amazon is making Alexa more conversational with the goal of having the voice assistant engage in 20 minute conversations. Their competition, the Amazon Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 3, chose 10 teams from universities around the world to improve Alexa’s artificial intelligence capabilities. They want Alexa to be able to understand sentence fragments, run-on sentences, as well as giving her everyday knowledge about normal situations. The teams were picked from top universities like Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California, Davis and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. On the Alexa blog, Senior Principal Scientist Dilek Hakkani-Tur wrote,

“The challenge to create a socialbot that can engage coherently with humans for 20-minutes with a 4.0 rating or higher, is incredibly complex. Teams have to incorporate advanced areas of conversational AI within their socialbots, including knowledge acquisition, natural language understanding, natural language generation, context modeling, commonsense reasoning, and dialog planning. “

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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