Weekly Digest: Alexa-Powered Robot and Smart Glasses From Razor

This week in Conversational AI.

Image Credit: Polina Pirogova/ Just AI

Reportedly 800 employees work on Amazon’s Alexa-powered robot

According to a new report from Insider, Amazon is working on a secretive home robot codenamed Vesta and the project has seemingly reached the “late-prototype stage”. The company has been working on the device for around four years and now has over 800 employees involved in the development. Via The Verge.

Smart speakers might be able to detect irregular heart rhythm

Researchers at the University of Washington have shown that devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home can detect cardiac arrests or monitor babies breathing. The researchers have created a new smart speaker skill, that allows for contactless monitoring of both regular and irregular heartbeats for the first time. The system sends inaudible sounds from the speaker out into a room and, based on the way the sounds are reflected back to the speaker, it can identify and monitor individual heartbeats. Via UW News.

Nuance and Walgreens collaborate to facilitate COVID-19 vaccination

Walgreens and Nuance Communications are working together to enable easier COVID-19 vaccination appointments for scheduling. With Nuance’s Intelligent Engagement solution, Walgreens can answer calls from anyone calling 1–800-Walgreens or a local Walgreens store. There Nuance’s conversational chatbot will be able to provide customers with up-to-date COVID information and answer any questions they may have about the vaccination process. Via Mobile ID World.

Razer’s new smart glasses double as headphones

Razer officially announced its Anzu smart glasses: they will filter out blue light and project audio into users’ ears. The new device offers touch controls via a panel on the side that allows users to manage music playback, accept or reject calls, activate a phone’s assistant, or turn on “gaming mode.” Via Engadget.

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