Amazon Alexa, a personal assistant Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) added to its Echo smart speaker, recently delivered a big surprise to parents of a six-year-old girl in Dallas, Texas. According to a report Fox News (via The Verge), a six-year-old asked Alexa, “Can you play dollhouse with me and get me a dollhouse?” The voice assistant ordered a KidKraft Sparkle mansion dollhouse as well as “four pounds of sugar cookies.” The parents were able to understand what had happened and added a code for purchases. They have donated the dollhouse a local children’s hospital.
This was the part one of the story. Then comes the second part of the story.
Alexa Orders Dollhouse After Hearing its Name On TV
In a local morning show on San Diego’s CW6 News, Anchor Jim Patton was reading a report about Dallas story. When Patton said: “I love the little girl, saying ‘Alexa ordered me a dollhouse,'” people who watching the broadcast at their homes found that their devices started ordering a dollhouse.
Talking with The Verge, Patton said that the TV station received many reports of viewer devices attempting to order a dollhouse after hearing his remarks. However, he didn’t think that any of the devices went through with their purchases.
“As for the number of people affected – I don’t know,” Patton said in an email to the publication. “Personally, I’ve seen one other email and have been told there were others, as well as calls to our news desk with similar stories.”
It is recommended to adjust Alexa’s settings through the device’s app to prevent kids ordering products. Users can either turn off voice ordering or add a passcode to prevent accidental purchases.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched the Echo, a new 9.25-inch smart speaker, in late 2014. The device comes with Alexa voice assistant that listens to a user’s vocal commands and respond accordingly.
The Echo can play music, play audiobooks, and set alarms, as well as can control several smart devices. It can also provide users with weather, traffic and other updates. The device has a speaker and microphone for the communication.
The Echo has been a big hit for the online retailer. Reports suggest that more than five million Echo devices were sold through the end of the third quarter.
Alexa dominated this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Business Insider reported. Companies – including Ford, Huawei, LG – as well as startups unveiled home appliances, phones, cars, and more gadgets with Alexa integration.
Late last year, Bloomberg reported that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is building a premium Alexa device with a 7-inch touchscreen. The online retailer plans to redesign its Amazon’s Echo smart home gadget in a bid to compete with Google and Apple. The touchscreen would allow users to access content – weather forecasts, calendar appointments, and news – in a more convenient way. The e-commerce giant may announce the new device as soon as in the first quarter of 2017, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the company’s plans.
Google recently launched Google Home, a home speaker similar to the Echo. Apple is also planning to develop a home device using its Siri digital assistant.