It’s no joke: Alexa is now installed on more than 20,000 devices worldwide

Amazon’s Alexa is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular digital assistants. At IFA Berlin, Amazon’s Daniel Rausch took to the stage to share some facts about the company’s digital assistant. Perhaps most impressive is the growth the A.I. has seen over the course of this year. At the beginning of 2018, Alexa was on more than 4,000 devices. Nine months later and that number has jumped north of 20,000.

According to CNET, Raush also shared a few more data points that serve to highlight the extent of Alexa’s growth.

“Just this year,” Raush said, “Alexa has sung Happy Birthday millions of times to customers, and she’s told over 100 million jokes.”

While Alexa comes pre-installed on a number of Amazon products such as the Echo smart speaker and Fire tablets, the majority of this growth comes from third-party integration. In fact, over the course of this year, the number of brands using Alexa has nearly tripled. At the start of this year, there were 1,200 products that made use of Amazon’s digital assistant. As of IFA Berlin, there were roughly 3,500 such devices around the world.

While Amazon has grown its hardware division over the past few years, it is also continuing to expand Alexa’s reach into third-party products and services. The company is working with everyone from hotel brands to car manufactures in order to better integrate Alexa into your everyday life.

While the sci-fi vision of an A.I. that can chat with you like a real person and cater to your every need is years off, Alexa’s growth does an impressive job of highlighting just how far speech recognition software has come over the past few years. A decade ago, such technology seemed almost magical. Now, it is quickly becoming commonplace. It provides an interesting example of the ways in which computing power and big data can be used to overcome obstacles that had previously seemed insurmountable.

Of course, Alexa is far from the only digital assistant on the market. Google Assistant is the other major player right now and both have their pros and cons. If you need help deciding between an Amazon or Echo device, we have you covered.

Emerging Tech

Tiny animals discovered in Antarctic lake deep beneath the ice

Scientists have made a surprising discovery in Antarctica: the carcasses of tiny animals including crustaceans and a tardigrade were found in a lake that sits deep beneath over half a mile of Antarctic ice.
Photography

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Emerging Tech

How long is a day on Saturn? Scientists finally have an answer

The length of Saturn's day has always been a challenge to calculate because of the planet's non-solid surface and magnetic field. But now scientists have tracked vibrations in the rings to pin down a final answer.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Social Media

Facebook reportedly developing LOL meme app to try to appeal to teens

Facebook is reportedly developing an app named LOL, which will feature memes in the form of funny videos and GIF-like clips. The app is said to be in testing in a very limited private beta, but sources said that the app is "cringey."
Smart Home

With focus on interoperability, is Nevo Butler a smarter home hub?

Universal Electronics is the latest company getting into the smart home market, announcing at CES 2019 that it intends to market the Nevo Butler, a new smart home hub with onboard A.I. and voice control technology.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.
Emerging Tech

Tiny microbots fold like origami to travel through the human body

Tiny robots modeled after bacteria could be used to deliver drugs to hard to reach areas of the human body. Scientists have developed elastic microbots that can change their shape depending on their environment.
Emerging Tech

Dinosaurs never stood a chance after asteroid impacts doubled 290M years ago

The number of asteroids pummeling Earth jumped dramatically around 290 million years ago. By looking at Moon craters, scientists discovered that d the number of asteroid impacts on both Earth and the Moon increased by two to three times.
Mobile

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.