Amazon has started shipping — in small numbers — a tabletop device called Echo. If Apple's Siri and Bose's WaveRadio had a baby, it would be something like Echo. Once connected to your wireless network, the $199 device can stream music and news programming from services like iHeartRadio and Amazon Prime, and it can also answer spoken questions on subjects like the weather, or what year the War of 1812 ended. And it turns out that a team at Amazon's Kendall Square research-and-development office has been developing the speech recognition capabilities for Echo.
Read MorePark ItI just used the City of Boston's new parking app, ParkBoston
It's no secret that Boston is a robotics hub. Companies and labs have spawned underwater explorers, robotic gardeners, delivery drones and more. If you can imagine it, it's probably happening. So it was little surprise when the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars, passed through the city this week to visit local technology companies and spread the word about its launch in hopes of recruiting up-and-coming robotics startups to apply for its program.
With great power comes great responsibility, and to Facebook, that means using its platform for the recovery of missing children.
Today, Facebook announced that it was partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to add AMBER alerts to the Facebook news feed system.
Sitting with Jon Gilman and Drew Stock at a Fort Point area coffee shop one recent morning, I was taken aback when the pair, both former RunKeeper employees, told me that they believed that if Alexander Graham Bell were to invent the telephone in Boston today, he'd probably do it in a much different way.
Gilman, a former product manager at RunKeeper, and Stock, a past interaction designer at the fitness tracking company, have created their new startup, Bellow, with the belief that voice communication is superior to texting and that the phone system we use today is broken. They think they can fix it. Read More