Here's the news roundup for March 23-29, 2019

Amazon: "Second-Screen Problem" Solved, Meet the Only Woman in the Top 10 of Amazon's Alexa Skills Challenge, the Future is Voice-First, Alexa Might Get a Body, Alexa Skill Earns Emmy Nom

Audio Watermarking Algorithm Is First to Solve "Second-Screen Problem" in Real Time. Amazon's Alexa scientists have written a blog post in which they claim to have discovered an audio watermarking algorithm that solves the "second-screen problem" in real time with nearly 100% accuracy. (Alexa Blogs)

Meet Caroline Dunn, the only woman in the top 10 of Amazon's  Alexa Skills Challenge. The Alexa Skills Challenge: Multimodal invited developers around the globe to create Alexa skills that use voice, visuals, and touch using the Alexa Presentation Language (APL), a new design language built from the ground up for creating voice-first, multimodal Alexa skills. Dunn made the top 10 with a Skill called “Running Clothes.” Winners will be announced on April 12. (hypepotamus)

"Now’s the time to learn it. Now is the time to experiment with it. Now is the time to start using it, because you always want to take your risks when there's the least at stake.”         -Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban: Voice, Ambient Computing Are the Future. Developers Should Get in Now. He's at it again. This time Cuban talks about the future of Voice-First with Alexa's Paul Cutsinger. (Alexa Blogs)

Alexa Needs a Robot Body to Escape the Confines of Today’s AI. The head scientist of the Alexa artificial-intelligence group at Amazon, Rohit Prasad, made a comment at the EmTech Digital, MIT Technology Review’s AI conference that has been leading us to believe that Amazon might be planning to give Alexa a body. Prasad asked  himself why Alexa was not smarter. He then arrived to the conclusion that, "The only way to make smart assistants really smart is to give it eyes and let it explore the world." (MIT Technology Review)

Xandra has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Media for a Daytime Program for the Esme & Roy Alexa Skill in partnership with HBO and Sesame Workshop. Congratulations!

We think that @Alexa99 might've won the Twitter game this week with this #TBT post

Google: Google Home Assists Interventional Radiologists

Google, Amazon Smart Speakers Assist Interventional Radiologists. HealthImaging reports that a team of interventional radiologists at UC-San Francisco have adopted a Google Home for use in the surgical suite. This innovation will enable hands-free sizing of supplies and devices such as sheaths for implanting stents. (HealthImaging)

Voice-First: Smart Speakers Paced to Replace Radios, Smart Speakers Market Reaches a New High in India, Alexa and Google Assistant Expand to Canadian French

Are Smart Speakers Really Replacing Radios? Study by Integr8 Research reveals smart speaker ownership pace set to surpass AM/FM radio ownership by 2020. (Integr8 Research)

India Smart Speakers Market Touches a New High in 2018, IDC India Reports. A recently released report by the International Data Corp reveals that Amazon's Echo leads the Indian smart speakers market with 59% share in 2018, followed by Google Home with 39%. (IDC)

French Canadian Speakers Get More Support from Alexa and Google Assistant Smart Displays. Voicebot reports that both Alexa and Google Assistant are expanding their offerings in Canadian French through third party collaborations. (

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