Posts with «author_name|will shanklin» label

Reddit turns top contributors' Reddit Gold into real-world money

Reddit announced today that it will begin paying top contributors for gold. The platform’s new Contributor Program allows redditors who meet certain requirements to receive real-world money (distributed monthly) for their awarded content. The company is also revamping how post / comment rewards work by eliminating Reddit Coins (and all associated awards) in favor of all gold all the time.

The Contributor Program is open to redditors who are 18+ years old, in an eligible location (only the US at the beginning), have an account “in good standing” and meet karma minimums. Reddit will grant “standard contributor” status (earning 90 cents per gold awarded) to those with at least 10 gold who received between 100 and 4,999 karma in the last 12 months. Beyond that, “top contributors” (earning $1 per gold awarded) will need a minimum of 10 gold and over 5,000 karma from the preceding 12 months. Redditors falling below those thresholds won’t be eligible for real-world payments until they reach the goals.

You can check your eligibility by navigating to the program page via your profile menu. If you can join, the “Get Verified to Start Earning” button will be highlighted and tappable/clickable.

Reddit also made some interface changes to match the new emphasis on gold. Gilded posts and comments will now display a gold upvote icon in place of the standard one. The platform also now lets you award and purchase gold straight from a post: You can now long-press on the upvote icon for a post or comment in the Reddit mobile app (or, eventually, hover the cursor over the symbol on the web) to choose between giving one and 25 gold awards. A single gold will cost users $2, while they could pay up to $49 for 25 of them. The new gold system is available now on mobile and will roll out to web users “later this year.”

Reddit’s API changes from earlier this year make it much more difficult for third parties to track engagement on the platform. However, with anecdotal reports of engagement dropping after the API protests, today’s moves could be viewed as a carrot to lure / retain prolific contributors who will help the platform build engagement — similar to creator programs from X, YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

iPhone 15 Pro Max teardown reveals a mixed bag for repairability

Repairability website iFixit has published its teardown of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the results are a mixed bag. Local repair shops still have to deal with the company's software-restricted “parts pairing” requirement, which means they need to order official components directly from Apple and get on the phone with a company employee before iOS will accept individual part replacements.

On the positive side, iFixit praised Apple for returning to a “dual-entry” removable glass back cover with the iPhone 15 Pro models — a feature that debuted with the standard iPhone 14 line last year. “This is a win for consumers as back glass repairs have been outrageously expensive on the high-end models until now, costing as much as $550,” iFixit said in its teardown video.

iFixit also examined the phone’s titanium frame and came away less than impressed. While noting that titanium is dirtier to produce than stainless steel and aluminum (mocking Apple’s “Mother Nature” skit in its launch event), the site also said the material scratches easily. “Unfortunately for the cool factor, we found that the color on the titanium shell scratches easily, a process that is only satisfying under the magnificent magnification of the microscope,” the teardown video said. “I could scratch this thing up all day.”

Elsewhere, iFixit found that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s logic board appears to be the same as the one in the iPhone 15 Pro, and you have to remove the speaker and Taptic Engine to access the battery-removal tabs. Interestingly, the website also noted that the main and wide camera sensors on the iPhone 15 Pro Max appear identical to those on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, suggesting the “Tetraprism” periscope lens, which enables 5x optical zoom, is the only hardware-based camera update this year. “Any improvement in image quality has more to do with a new A17 SoC than the camera hardware itself,” iFixit said.

Dinging Apple for parts pairing appears primed to stand as a primary focus of iFixit’s Apple teardowns from now on. The repair advocacy website views it as significant enough of a problem to have lowered the iPhone 14’s repairability score from 7 out of 10 to 4 out of 10 nearly a year after launch because of it. “And as we’ve now come to expect, each year brings new parts pairing issues and bugs,” the video said. “This year’s edition is the LiDAR sensor, which now crashes if the sensor is swapped out. Calibration issue or not, these bugs need to be fixed, or else they might as well be paired with the logic board with a tiny Apple warning saying, ‘Hey, this phone is property of Apple.’”

Due to the parts pairing requirement, iFixit gave the iPhone 15 Pro Max a mere 4 out of 10 repairability score. “This phone won't accept salvaged parts, it complicates at-home repair, and it won't be any fun for your local repair tech,” the website said.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

iPhone 15 stuck on the Apple logo during setup? Here’s how to fix it

If you’re setting up a new iPhone 15 today, you might run into some problems. As first reported by 9to5Mac, the new models (including standard and pro variants) can get stuck in a boot loop where they may freeze on the Apple logo when transferring apps and data to the new model. Although Apple says the setup process should prompt you to install iOS 17.0.2, which fixes the problem, some users (including one Engadget staff member) have reported that it failed to do that. Here’s what to do.

First, if your iPhone 15 setup prompts you to install iOS 17.0.2 before reaching the data-transfer step, you’re good to go: That means Apple’s hotfix worked as planned, and you don’t need to worry about any special instructions. Accept the update, wait for it to install and complete the process. But you’ll need to hop on a computer if it doesn’t prompt you to update.

Computer workaround

Start by plugging your iPhone into a Mac or Windows PC using its supplied (or any compatible) USB-C cable. Then, put the phone in recovery mode using the following button combinations: While it’s still plugged in, quickly press the iPhone’s volume up button, then the volume down button. Immediately after, press and hold the phone’s side (power / sleep) button until your handset displays the image below of a computer and cable. (If you don’t see it, try the button combinations again without pausing.)


Next, Mac users can open Finder and select their iPhone from the sidebar. Windows users will need to open iTunes. (If you don’t already have it, you can download it from here.)

After opening Finder (Mac) or iTunes (Windows), it will ask if you want to restore or update your phone. Choose “Restore,” and it will install the new software. (Apple notes that if your iPhone restarts while your Mac or PC downloads the update, you’ll need to wait for the update to complete before repeating the recovery mode button combination from paragraph three.)

After your Mac or PC completes the software restore, you should be able to unplug your iPhone and follow the prompts on its screen to set it up and transfer your data as usual.

Workaround without a computer

If you’re on the go or otherwise don’t have access to a computer, there’s an alternate method that may take a little longer. After powering up the phone, select the option to set it up as a new iPhone instead of transferring apps and data from your old model or iCloud. Then, after it takes you to a clean Home Screen for the first time, navigate to Settings > General > Software Update, and install the iOS 17.0.2 update.

After the update completes, head to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone, and choose “Erase All Content and Settings” at the bottom of the screen. After it completes the factory reset, the setup process should allow you to transfer your existing content from iCloud or your old handset.

Once you’ve set up your new phone, you can check out Engadget’s iPhone 15 Pro / Pro Max review and iOS 17 preview to brush up on all your new features.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Bowing to pressure, Unity announces the terms of its surrender

Unity announced significant concessions to its new game developer pricing on Friday. After rolling out the widely scorned changes 10 days ago, including a per-install fee many developers said could upend their entire businesses, the company rolled out a walkback today that softens some of the policy’s sharper edges.

Perhaps most notably, users on the Unity Personal plan will no longer be subject to the Unity Runtime Fee. This broadly disdained charge would have forced smaller developers to pay every time their game was installed (including reinstallations from the same user). Under the revised policy, Unity Personal users can earn up to $200,000 without changing plans — up from the previous $100,000. In addition, the company is waiving the requirement to include the “Made with Unity” splash screen.

Meanwhile, developers on Unity Pro and Enterprise plans won’t have to worry about the Unity Runtime Fee until they upgrade to the next LTS (long-term support) version of the engine shipping in 2024. Any current games or projects in development based on versions of Unity older than that won’t be charged the fee. It also only applies to those who switch to the upcoming version. “We will make sure that you can stay on the terms applicable for the version of Unity editor you are using — as long as you keep using that version,” Unity Create leader Marc Whitten wrote today.

You know what, on first glance, I think this works? It's effectively a 2.5% revenue share for $1M+p/y earners? No retroactivity left, LTS stability, no black-box data, yeah? I think that works for every use-case.

— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) September 22, 2023

Devs on Unity Pro or Enterprise plans who qualify for the Unity Runtime Fee will pay either a 2.5% cut of their revenue or a “calculated amount based on the number of new people engaging with your game each month.” A fee summary webpage clarifies those as “initial engagements,” which sounds like it voids the previous method that would have charged developers twice if the same person uninstalled and reinstalled their game (or downloaded it onto a new device). In addition, Unity clarified that developers will self-report the numbers determining the fee and will always pay the lesser amount of the two, quelling concerns about the potential for tracking and abuse.

Unity also said no game with less than $1 million in revenue for the preceding 12 months will pay the fee.

Whitten sounded a conciliatory tone as the company does damage control over its roundly condemned plans. “I want to start with simply this: I am sorry,” he wrote. “We should have spoken with more of you and we should have incorporated more of your feedback before announcing our new Runtime Fee policy. Our goal with this policy is to ensure we can continue to support you today and tomorrow, and keep deeply investing in our game engine. You are what makes Unity great, and we know we need to listen, and work hard to earn your trust. We have heard your concerns, and we are making changes in the policy we announced to address them.”

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Amazon Prime members can get a Blink camera bundle for half off

Amazon has a half-off deal for Prime members on a Blink outdoor / indoor security camera bundle. The sale gives you a pair of Blink Outdoor 4 cameras, which launched last month, and a Blink Mini for only $117.49. Whether these are your first security cameras or you’re adding to an existing setup, this is a chance to save 50 percent off their usual cost.

The Blink Outdoor 4 is a wireless device that, despite its name, can work as an inside or outside camera. It supports person detection, which uses computer vision to alert you when it spots a human in its field of view (if you also subscribe to an optional Blink subscription). The camera offers 1080p HD video, infrared night vision, two-way audio and enhanced dual-zone motion detection. Its bundled AA batteries can last up to an estimated two years. Also included is the Blink Sync Module 2, required for offline storage (if you bring your own USB drive).

Meanwhile, the Blink Mini is the company’s classic entry-level indoor camera. The wired device also records and streams in 1080p. It includes motion detection, two-way audio and night vision. It also requires a Blink subscription to save clips in the cloud, but, like the Outdoor 4, the Blink Mini also supports offline storage if you connect a USB drive to the Sync Module 2.

Remember that the deal is only available for Amazon Prime members. And it only lasts until midnight Pacific time.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

YouTube’s upcoming AI-powered creator tools include a generative green screen

YouTube has new AI features for creators on the way. AI-powered features the company announced at its Made on YouTube event on Thursday include a green screen feature, insights to stimulate ideas, automatic dubbing to other languages and a soundtrack search.

Dream Screen gives YouTube Shorts creators an AI-powered green screen, similar to a popular feature on TikTok. YouTube’s tool will automatically remove backgrounds from your videos, replacing them with AI-generated images or videos based on your prompts.

Although it’s yet to be seen how professional and convincing the generated content appears in practice, the idea is for Dream Screen to make it easier to illustrate fantasy scenarios or simply liven up otherwise ho-hum backdrops. YouTube suggests trekking through an enchanted forest or riding shotgun as your pug drives you to school as two oddball scenes Dream Screen can craft. The company says it will start to test the tool with “select creators” later this year before a broader rollout in 2024.

YouTube Studio’s AI-powered insight recommendations

YouTube Studio will get a new feature that brainstorms for you. Similar to asking ChatGPT for video ideas, the “insight recommendations” feature can draft outlines and help creators conceptualize projects. Similarly, assistive search in Creator Music will make it easier to find background tunes for your videos. “Simply type in a description of your content and AI will suggest the right music at the right price,” YouTube VP Toni Reid wrote today. Both Insights and assistive music search will be available for creators next year.

YouTube also showcased the AI-powered dubbing feature it began testing earlier this year. Developed at Google’s Area 120 incubator, it can generate a text-based translation into the selected target language. The company says it gives you a chance to double-check the output before choosing from different virtual narrators to read your content. The feature is currently being tested with select creators in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

The company is also launching a YouTube Create app to help video makers produce content on their mobile devices. It includes standard features like editing, trimming, automatic captioning, voiceovers, filters, effects and royalty-free music with beat matching. The free app is currently in beta for Android in select markets.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

GTA+ now includes free games, starting with three Grand Theft Auto remasters

Rockstar announced on Thursday that GTA+ subscribers will now get access to a rotating selection of Rockstar Games. At launch, members can download and play Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, the 2021 remaster of early 21st-century classics GTA III, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas.

The games will only be available for the console platform your GTA+ membership is tied to. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition typically costs $60, so this could be a cheap and easy way to revisit the trio of open-world pioneers. The remastered trilogy polishes the original’s dated graphics with new lighting and environmental upgrades, high-res textures, greater draw distances, modern controls and refined targeting.

The 2021 remake starts with the highly influential Grand Theft Auto III (2001), which dazzled turn-of-the-millennium gamers with its vast (for its day) open-world sandbox of Liberty City. 2002’s GTA: Vice City built on that formula while adding a voiced protagonist, Tommy Vercetti (the late Ray Liotta), along with an abundance of 1980s nostalgia and satire. GTA: San Andreas capped off the trilogy in 2004 with a broader scope (it spans three cities) and a memorable 1990s hip-hop soundtrack; you walk in the shoes of Carl “CJ” Johnson (Christopher Bellard) as he returns to his Grove Street home after five years away.

GTA+ launched in 2022 for GTA Online players on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. In addition to the revolving assortment of games, the $6-per-month program offers perks like a monthly deposit of $500,000 in virtual currency, and rotating rewards like in-game vehicles, clothes, properties, weapons and bonus mission rewards.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Facebook now lets you create up to four additional profiles

Meta announced on Thursday that Facebook users can now create multiple profiles. The company will let you add an @username for up to four additional personal profiles attached to your main account. After creating a new alias, you won’t need to log out and back in to switch between them. Facebook first began testing the feature last July.

The company suggests picking profiles for your personal life, work and any specific interests or communities you want to spin out of your main account. “Whether you’re new to Facebook or a longtime user, you may want to keep your personal and professional relationships separate, or you may want to keep one profile tied to a community you’re a part of and another profile just for friends,” Meta wrote in its announcement blog post. “Creating multiple personal profiles lets you easily organize who you share with and what content you see for the various parts of your life.”

Meta says each profile will have its own unique feed with pertinent content based only on that profile’s interests. “Think one profile for the foodie scene you love and another one to keep up with your friends and family,” the company wrote. The company says Instagram’s success with a similar feature inspired the move, and beta testing the feature taught Facebook that many people like having a clearer organization of friends, groups and interests “to engage with the audience they believe is most relevant.”

Each new profile will start fresh with Facebook’s default privacy and notification settings, so you may want to change them manually for each one. In addition, your primary Facebook account won’t reveal that you have extra profiles.

The feature comes with some restrictions. First, Facebook’s Dating, Marketplace, Professional Mode and payments won’t be available to your secondary profiles at launch. In addition, messaging for extra usernames will only be available in the Facebook app and on the web. (Messenger support for additional profiles will arrive “in the coming months.”) Finally, only eligible adult accounts can make new profiles. Remember: Your new handles are bound by Facebook’s policies, meaning you can’t misrepresent your age or location.

The feature begins rolling out globally on Thursday and will continue over the coming months.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Everything Amazon announced at its 2023 Devices and Services event

Amazon’s fall hardware event was chock full of updates. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the generative AI boom from the last year, the company began transforming Alexa into a much more versatile and conversational personal chatbot. But it also had plenty of new hardware to introduce, with new models of the Echo Show, security cameras, Echo Frames, a 10-gigabit router and more. Here’s everything Amazon unveiled on Wednesday.

Alexa with generative AI


As generative AI has exploded in popularity during the last year, task-focused personal assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa now seem even more dated than they did before. Amazon began to rectify that on Wednesday with a new Alexa chat feature that responds to a much wider variety of requests by using generative AI. When saying, “Alexa, let’s chat,” the assistant switches to a chatbot mode built on a large language model (LLM).

Alexa’s new AI chat mode makes the assistant more conversational and expressive, and you won’t need to keep repeating “Alexa” each time you speak. If you enroll in the company’s Visual ID, you can start a conversation just by facing the screen on an Echo device with a camera. Alexa can now adjust its tone and “emotion” based on context. The company says it also works around your pauses and hesitations for a more free-flowing conversation. However, Amazon’s live presentation had a couple of hitches where the assistant forced presenter Dave Limp to repeat himself.

Amazon says Alexa will move further in this direction with an upcoming speech-to-speech update. “And we’re working on a new model—which we refer to as speech-to-speech,” said Amazon senior VP Rohit Prasad. “Instead of first converting a customer’s audio request into text using speech recognition, and then using an LLM to generate a text response or an action, and then text-to-speech to produce audio back—this new model will unify these tasks, creating a much richer conversational experience.”

Echo Show 8


Amazon launched a new Echo Show 8 on Wednesday, boasting upgrades to its display, camera and microphones. Proximity sensing is a marquee feature on the new model, as it can adjust its UI depending on how close you are to it. For example, a demo showing the weather app used a larger font as the person stood farther away, but it shrunk the font and added finer details as they moved closer.

The device includes spatial audio capabilities for “a wider and more immersive sound experience,” as Limp described. The Echo Show 8 also has a centered camera, which should make video calls feel more natural for your partner, and upgraded audio that minimizes background noise. It also has a faster processor and a built-in smart home hub.

The new Echo Show 8 costs $150 and is available for pre-order now ahead of an expected October ship date.

Echo Frames


Amazon updated its Echo Frames smart glasses for the first time in over two years. The wearable device has a longer battery life: up to six hours of continuous media playback. Perhaps even more importantly, the new models are 15 percent slimmer than the previous generation, making them look more like regular glasses and less like a bulky tech product strapped to your face.

The new Echo Frames also have a “redesigned audio experience,” including more balanced sound, better audio clarity and less distortion. Their onboard speech processing is also improved, which could lead to more reliable responses in different environments. They’ll ship in seven new styles, including both glasses and sunglasses variants. (There’s also a more expensive version through a partnership with Carrera called “Carrera Smart Glasses.”) 

The Echo Frames cost $270, while the Carrera Smart Glasses variant will cost $390. They’re available for pre-order.

Eero Max 7


Amazon describes its new Eero Max 7 as a combined router, range extender and repeater. The device offers 10-gigabit Ethernet connections, with advertised download speeds of a 4K movie in 10 seconds or a 50 GB game in less than a minute.

The device supports the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6 GHz radio bands with speeds up to 4.3 Gbps for wireless connections and 9.4 Gbps for wired connections. It includes four Ethernet ports and covers 2,500 square feet of wireless coverage, and you can link them together to create a mesh network to cover even more ground.

The Eero Max 7 costs $600 and will be available “soon.” It, too, is available for pre-order today.

Echo Hub


The newly revealed Echo Hub is a new device for managing various smart home gadgets around your house. It has an 8-inch display and is meant to be mounted on a wall, although Amazon says it will also offer a stand accessory. “Today, smart home panels are expensive, they require professional installers, and they don’t age well. We set out to change that,” said Amazon smart home chief Charlie French.

Although it includes Alexa controls and can behave like standard Echo speakers, it also supports the major smart home protocols, including Matter and Thread — supporting over 140,000 smart home devices. The device supports Wi-Fi by default but can connect to compatible ethernet routers with an optional USB-C cable. The Echo Hub’s infrared sensors can even tell when someone is nearby and shift into a default clock mode when nobody is around.

The device lets you arm your security system with a quick tap, and it will display multiple live camera feeds simultaneously. It can control select smart home devices locally, leading to faster response times. “Now, when a customer taps to turn on a light from their Echo Hub, it can turn on in as little as 300 milliseconds—it feels like flipping a light switch,” the company said on Wednesday.

As with many Amazon devices, the Echo Hub’s killer feature may be its price. It will be available later this year for $180, and you can pre-order it today.

Ring and Blink security cameras


The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is a $180 indoor / outdoor camera with intelligent tracking features. The device adds 3D motion detection (already found in the Ring Video Doorbell 2, Floodlight Cam Pro and Spotlight Cam Pro) to provide what Amazon describes as more refined and accurate motion alerts. It employs radar technology to track people’s paths across the camera’s field of view. It can monitor where people in its frame are going and the route they took to get there. You can pre-order it today.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s other security camera unit, Blink, got several new accessories. First, the $50 Sync Module Pro extends the range of the Blink Outdoor 4, saying it will reach “the furthest corner of your property.” There’s also a new $160 wireless floodlight mount for the Blink Outdoor 4 that will blanket your yard in light with its motion-triggered LEDs. Finally, Amazon is launching a battery extender for the Outdoor 4 that can supposedly stretch its battery life to “up to four years.” The three accessories are available for pre-order and are slated to ship beginning on October 17.

Fire TV updates


Amazon launched the new Fire TV Soundbar, a Bluetooth-enabled audio device compatible with “all Fire TV streaming products and TVs,” according to Amazon VP Daniel Rausch. The soundbar is available starting today for $120.

The Fire TV 4K Max received an incremental update on Wednesday, bumping its processing power by 0.2GHz and its Wi-Fi from 6 to 6E. The device supports HDR, HDR10+, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. It’s available for pre-order for $60 and is scheduled to ship on September 27. Amazon also updated the standard 4K Fire TV Stick with more processing power, 4K support and Wi-Fi 6. 

The company also rolled out a new Fire TV Ambient Experience for the device, making it easy to view info like your family calendar, reminders and local forecast. In addition, it’s adding “hundreds of new images” to its free “gallery-quality” art selection for TVs in standby mode.

Fire TV devices will add a new search experience that uses Amazon’s LLMs to make on-device search more natural and conversational. They’re also adding a unified Continue Watching row that aggregates favorite content (from providers like Prime Video, Disney+, Max, Peacock and more) in one spot. Amazon says it focuses on recency, making it easier to resume the last thing you checked out — regardless of the service.

Accessibility features


Amazon’s Echo devices are receiving some new accessibility features later this year. Eye Gaze on Alexa is a new feature for the Fire Max 11 tablet that lets people with mobility or speech disabilities perform preset actions using only their line of sight. You can play music and shows, control smart home devices or call loved ones without using your hands or voice. The feature will arrive later this year.

Call Translation is a new feature for the Echo Show that will transcribe calls with onscreen captions. It can translate speech into over 10 languages, including English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The feature will arrive later this year on Echo Show devices (and in the Alexa app) for users in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Map View


To make homes full of smart home devices simpler to manage, Amazon introduced Map View. The feature lets you view and control your home devices using a digital floor plan.

Map View will let you create an indoor map of your home using your phone. (It will initially launch on LiDar-enabled iOS devices.) The idea is for the feature to serve as an alternative to the (often messy) Alexa app’s devices list, displaying them room-by-room. It lets you quickly glance at your setup, control devices and even view live camera feeds by glancing at the floor-plan layout.

The opt-in feature will launch in the US later this year.

Kids’ stuff


Amazon is extending Alexa’s new generative AI powers to kids’ devices. However, as you may expect, it should be a heavily guardrailed version of the feature that supposedly protects children from unsavory material. The company says it “gracefully redirects kids back to the conversation at hand and away from inappropriate or sensitive content.”

The company also showcased the Echo Pop Kids, a new smart speaker for children. It ships in two variants: Avengers and Disney Princess. You can pre-order the $50 speaker now. It ships in October and includes six months of the Amazon Kids+ subscription service.

Alexa Emergency Assist


A feature that could benefit seniors or people with disabilities, Alexa Emergency Assist lets you contact first responders by saying, “Alexa, call for help.” The feature will connect you with a “dedicated, professionally trained agent” available 24/7.

When you set up Alexa Emergency Assist, it will save your home address, medications, allergies and device info to save you from having to pass that on to the person on the line.

Alexa Emergency Assist will launch in the US and is “coming soon.” It will cost $6 per month or $59 annually when it arrives.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Alexa Emergency Assist can call first responders from your Echo speaker

Amazon announced a new personal safety feature on Wednesday for Alexa devices. Building on the existing Alexa Guard, Emergency Assist sounds a bit like Life Alert for Echo devices. It allows people in trouble to call for assistance by saying, “Alexa, call for help.”

Alexa Emergency Assist can connect you with a “dedicated, professionally trained agent” available 24/7. When you sign up, it will save information like your home address, medications and allergies to pass them to first responders.

Amazon says the feature is “coming soon” in the US, and it will support all Echo devices. It will cost $6 monthly or $59 annually when it launches.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Follow all of the news live from Amazon’s 2023 Devices event right here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at