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How to Use Hey Disney! in Your Disney World Hotel Room

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How to Use Hey Disney! in Your Disney World Hotel Room

When you enter your Disney World hotel room in the future, something will be DIFFERENT.

©Disney

No, we’re not talking about the refurbishments taking place at select hotels, or the fact that overnight parking for hotel guests is now FREE. No, this will be a much smaller change involving Amazon’s Alexa, and it’s one that you absolutely NEED to know about.

What Is “Hey Disney!”?

Back in 2021, Disney announced that it would be partnering with Amazon to bring a NEW interactive Alexa feature to Disney hotel rooms and your home too. The service is called “Hey Disney!”

Essentially it is a voice assistant that will be powered through Amazon’s Alexa and it’ll be made available on select Echo devices. So yes, you’ll soon find Echo devices in Disney’s hotel rooms that’ll enable this service to be possible.

©Disney

The device will let you talk to a NEW character that Disney and Amazon have created called the Disney Magical Companion. You’ll be able to speak with the Companion to do things like set alarms, “order select room items, ask questions and have fun with favorite characters.”

The service was originally set to debut in 2022, but it has not yet fully rolled out to all Disney World hotels. Instead, what we’ve seen so far is a limited test of the service at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort that took place back in November of 2022.

©Disney

But, when “Hey Disney!” does eventually debut in more Disney World hotel rooms, you’ll want to know how to use it. Here’s a complete guide.

Getting Started

When you arrive in your Disney World hotel room and see that “Hey Disney!” has been installed (a.k.a. you spot an Echo device in your hotel room) you’ll be able to review information about the experience that’ll be displayed on the device.

When you enter the room, the ⊘ button on the top of the echo device should be red. That indicates that the device is muted. If you want to use the “Hey Disney!” service on the Echo device, you’ll need to press the ⊘ button to unmute the device.

©Disney

Once you’ve unmuted the device, it’ll listen for the words “Hey Disney” or “Alexa.” If you’re ready to ask “Hey Disney!” a question, you’ll be able to tap or say “Hey Disney, start the magic!”

Once you’ve done that, you can start any requests with the words “Hey Disney.” Once the device hears that, it can then help you answer your questions about the parks, etc. We’ll go over just what it can do in one second!

Do You Have to Pay to Use It?

If you’re using the device within a Disney hotel room, the service will be entirely complimentary. 

Note that “Hey Disney!” will eventually be available for Amazon Echo devices at your home but to use that you will need to purchase the “Hey Disney” Alexa skill from Amazon.

Do You HAVE to Use It in the Hotel Room?

No! “Hey Disney!” is entirely optional. You do not need to use it if you don’t want to.

Hey Disney! ©Disney

Disney points out that you can keep the device muted throughout your entire stay if you’d rather not use it. Or you can mute and unmute it as you want, using the ⊘ button. If you have other questions or concerns about “Hey Disney!” during your stay, you can call the front desk of the hotel.

How Does It Work?

If you’re familiar with Amazon’s other Alexa and Echo devices, then this will likely be second nature to you. But let’s go over the basics!

If the Echo device in the room hears that someone has said “Hey Disney” or “Alexa” (or if you use the interactive touch screen on the Echo device) it’ll respond. Essentially, Disney says your “requests will be sent to Amazon for processing in the cloud.”

©Disney

Disney also explains that if the Magical Companion (their new character) can help answer your questions, then “Amazon will send your requests (but not the voice recordings) to Disney.”

When Is It Listening to You?

If you’re worried about security and privacy, here’s what you need to know about when the device listens to you.

Whenever the Echo device detects that someone has said “Hey Disney” or “Alexa,” it will listen to you. It’ll then take your request and “send it to Amazon for processing in the cloud.” Note that using certain features on the touch screen will also wake up the device and cause it to listen to your request.

©Disney

How will you know if it’s listening to you? Look for the blue bar on the device to light up! If it is lit, you know it’s listening.

Remember you can turn off the microphone by pushing the button on the top of the device. You’ll then see a red ring which indicates that you’ve successfully muted the device.

What Can It Do?

And now we get to the good stuff — what can “Hey Disney!” actually do for you during your hotel stay? Well, a few different things!

©Disney

There will be features to help you get room amenities, see guest service information, plan your day, explore Disney fun, and even try other things.

Hotel Help

If you need a few more things in your hotel, like extra pillows, blankets, or towels, or something like that, you can make the request through “Hey Disney!” and it’ll get fulfilled by your resort’s Cast Members.

Hey Disney

Park Help

What if you’ve got a question about the parks, like when EPCOT opens or when the next bus leaves from your resort hotel for Magic Kingdom? Those are questions you can also ask “Hey Disney!”

Hey Disney!

The goal is that it will be able to show you helpful park information that’ll make your stay easier like showtimes, hours, bus schedules, and more.

Other Useful Things

But it goes beyond getting towels or finding your next bus. “Hey Disney!” can also set an alarm for you to help you wake up with a smile. Or it can give you a weather forecast.

While those are things you can already ask the regular Alexa (or even Siri) to do, what makes this system unique is that it utilizes the Magical Companion and Disney characters along the way. So if you ask about the weather, you might get some comments about Olaf and how he loves the sun and everything hot!

©Disney

Or if you set an alarm, Dory might tell you that she will NOT forget about it this time. It’s the character interactivity that really makes this unique.

Games and Fun

In addition to the “useful” stuff, “Hey Disney!” will also have tons of fun experiences for families to enjoy. For example, you can ask the system to tell you a joke — you never know what characters might chime in! You can even ask for specific jokes, like a “Mickey Mouse joke.”

 

 

 

There will also be Disney trivia available, so the whole family can compete! And you’ll find an offering called “Soundscapes which is meant to make you feel like you’ve entered the worlds of your favorite Disney characters thanks to the use of certain music.

There are also stories available to listen to, which could be a great way to end the night with little ones. And there is a special offering called “Magical Moments,” which will enable you to go on some fun little adventures with the Disney characters you know and love.

©Disney

But wait…there’s MORE! As you step into your room after a long day in the parks, you may find that a character has “stopped by” and left a message to greet you as you enter. Or you may get a departure message from some characters near the end of your hotel stay.

The messages may even be tailored to certain holidays, including Disney-specific ones like May the 4th (Star Wars Day).

©Disney

As we noted, the system will make heavy use of Disney’s own characters (including characters from Disney animation, Pixar, Star Wars, the Muppets, and Marvel), but you’ll also meet the Magical Companion — a new character that’ll guide you throughout your journey.

The Magical Companion can introduce you to Disney characters, guide you to exciting surprises, and more.

All in all, Disney has shared that the Magical Companion will “help guests discover more than a thousand magical interactions.”

 

More!

“Hey Disney!” is also set to connect to MagicBand+ to make things more special. With MagicBand+, trivia games will be enhanced by a vibrating buzzer that will react with lights and haptics. The MagicBand+ can also buzz if you set an alarm or a timer with “Hey Disney!”

MagicBand+

While Disney World is getting in on the fun, Disneyland isn’t being left out! The service is set to come to Disneyland hotel rooms in the future as well.

And, as we noted above, the “Hey Disney!” feature will soon be available for you to buy for qualifying Echo devices through the Alexa skills store. It’s set to become available for purchase later this year, so you’ll be able to use it in your own home!

©Disney

And that’s a complete look at “Hey Disney!” What do you think? Will it be a service you will use daily or something you’ll skip? Let us know in the comments.

For more hotel news, check out our posts below, and stay tuned for the latest updates!

 

More Disney World Hotel News

Join the AllEars.net Newsletter to get the free list of the 10 Best Secrets of Disney World! Click here to get started!

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Will you be using “Hey Disney!” or not? Tell us in the comments!



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NXP Semiconductor delivers mixed results as mobile and IoT chip demand falters

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NXP Semiconductor delivers mixed results as mobile and IoT chip demand falters

Shares of NXP Semiconductor N.V. fell in extended trading today after the chipmaker delivered mixed quarterly results and guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 that came in below expectations.

The company reported a net income for the fourth quarter of $602 million, with earnings before certain costs such as stock compensation coming to $2.76 per share, just shy of Wall Street’s forecast of $2.77 per share. Revenue for the period rose 19%, to $3.31 billion, beating the $3.3 billion consensus estimate by a whisker.

NXP President and Chief Executive Kurt Sievers (pictured) said in a statement that while the company’s automotive chip business has “performed very well” over the last year, its consumer internet of things and mobile chipmaking units were hit by a “softening demand environment” in the second half of 2022.

“We have adopted a vigilant operational stance, aiming to improve service to those customers who continue to experience material shortages while managing the distribution-channel inventory levels well below our long-term targets,” the CEO added.

NXP sells a wide portfolio of computer chips to customers in multiple industries. The company is best known for its automotive semiconductors that power everything from car infotainment systems to tire pressure monitoring systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communications. In addition, NXP sells chips for identification, wired and wireless infrastructure, lighting, consumer, mobile and computing applications.

Wall Street investors have grown nervous about the semiconductor industry in recent months, with larger players like Intel Corp. and Nvidia Corp. reporting significant demand struggles and growing inventories. However, auto-focused chipmakers like NXP have managed to avoid the worst of the downturn.

The continued demand for automotive chips was evident in NXP’s breakdown of its sales, as that business unit accounted for more than half of its overall revenue in the quarter. The automotive segment delivered $1.8 billion in sales, up 17% from a year earlier.

However, it was a much grimmer picture in NXP’s other business segments. For instance, the Industrial and IoT segment reported revenue of $605 million, down 15%, while sales of mobile chips were flat at $408 million. NXP’s “communications, infrastructure and other” segment suffered a 5% drop, with revenue of $494 million.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2023, NXP is forecasting earnings of between $2.82 and $3.22 per share on revenue of $2.9 billion to $3.1 billion, lower than Wall Street’s guidance of $3.14 per share in earnings and $3.17 billion in revenue.

Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. told SiliconANGLE that NXP has been a notable standout in the chipmaking sector, growing its full-year revenue by about 10% while the majority of its rivals have seen sales fall off a cliff. “The question is whether or not NXP can keep this up,” Mueller said. “Most likely NXP is going to be heading downwards in the not-too-distant future.”

Investors may be inclined to feel the same way. NXP’s stock fell more than 3% in late trading on the report, having declined just over a percentage point in the regular session on a down day for the overall market.

Photo: NXP Semiconductor

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Blockchain security startup Hypernative bags $9M to prevent crypto hacks

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Blockchain security startup Hypernative bags $9M to prevent crypto hacks

Hypernative, a cryptocurrency security startup that focuses on protecting against hacks, today said that it has raised $9 million in seed funding to help Web3 companies prevent losses from cyberattacks.

The seed round was led by Boldstart Ventures and IBI Tech Fund, with strategic investments from cryptocurrency firms Blockdaemon, Alchemy, and Nexo, as well as CMT Digital and Borderless and a number of angel investors.

The company created a security platform that uses data both on and off blockchains to predict and prevent potential cyberattacks that target economic, governance and community threats in real time. The company calls its first product the “Pre-Cog” platform because of its ability to capitalize on signals before an attack happens using machine learning models to monitor incoming data.

According to the company, the platform has already detected over 764,000 risks and triggered more than 33,000 alerts on 14,000-plus monitored protocols. It uses its platform to allow its customers to react in real time to potential threats that could affect their crypto assets before or even while an attack might be happening to mitigate any damage that might happen.

“We created Hypernative early last year when we saw huge amounts of money getting stolen or phished or scammed in crypto,” said Gal Sagie, chief executive of Hypernative told Techcrunch. “We saw huge gaps between tools that existed and money being invested, so we wanted to create something to help prevent [attacks].”

According to a report from Immunefi, a bug bounty and security services platform for Web3, the crypto industry lost approximately $3.9 billion due to hacks, fraud and scams in 2022 with cyberattacks representing over 95% of that total. Although many of these attacks could have been prevented by proactively fixing vulnerabilities, it’s not always possible to catch every error or bug in the wild.

This is where Hypernative’s Pre-Cog platform steps in order to warn react and prevent attacks before or as they’re happening. It allows security teams at crypto businesses to receive alerts and act rapidly by exporting the alerts to internal application programming interfaces, Slack, email or Telegram so that engineers can know quickly.

The platform is designed for protocols to enhance security beyond auditing and proactive defense, allowing teams to monitor key metrics and anomalies. For asset managers and traders, it also detects risks in portfolios in advance and real time by identifying potential risks before a transaction is initiated, this means that users can be more confident about their activities. Hypernative is easily integrated into both protocol security controls and trading wallet automated trading systems.

“Until now, there are no systems that not only accurately predict and alert on hacks before they happen but also provide actionable advice to stop them,” said Ed Sim, founding partner at Boldstart Ventures. “The opportunity in front of Hypernative is massive as stopping zero-day attacks will go a long way towards rebuilding trust in the crypto ecosystem.”

Hypernative’s ideal clients include hedge funds, exchanges, asset managers, traders and market managers and anyone who interacts with crypto and blockchain protocols who might end up in a position where they need to react quickly to an attack or any other type of incident.

Photo: Pixabay

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Top 10 Low Risk Tips For Starting Your Own E-commerce Company

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Top 10 Low Risk Tips For Starting Your Own E-commerce Company

Tech layoffs have hit hard. Starting in 2022, major brands including Spotify, Google and Microsoft have been laying off tens of thousands of workers. In the wake of the already tumultuous Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation, many Americans have been thrust into a state of panic concerning their current and future employment.

The good news is, there are low-risk ways to start your own e-commerce company. For example, in 2021, more than 100,000 new American brands joined Amazon. Amazon’s U.S. selling partners have sold over 3.9 billion products – that equals 7,500 items every minute – and averaged about $200,000 in sales per seller.

“Today, Amazon is a preferred partner for nearly two million selling partners worldwide – most of which are small and medium-sized businesses,” says Claire O’Donnell, director of selling partner empowerment, communities and trust at Amazon. “Our selling partners are incredibly important to us, and we work hard to provide them with effective resources to run and launch successful businesses. We offer a robust suite of tools and services, lending programs, and free educational services like Amazon Small Business Academy and Amazon Seller University to make sure it’s easy for anyone to start selling in Amazon’s store and connect with a global customer base.”

Shan Shan Fu is the founder of Millennials In Motion, an e-commerce brand that sells products on Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, Etsy and Poshmark. She also serves as head of business development at Trivium, an award-winning Amazon advertising and management agency.

Here are Fu’s top 10 tips for starting an e-commerce company with her low-risk, low-investment method:

1. Look for products that have high demand and low competition. Using tools such as Helium 10’s Magnet, you can discover which keywords are being searched on Amazon. Look for products with at least 5,000 monthly searches and less than 1,000 competitors.

2. Create barriers to entry to avoid your product getting copied. Avoid “commodity products,” which are products that anyone can sell. Make your product unique with better features, better design, and/or better functionality. Patent your product, if possible. Work within a particular niche and expand from there.

3. Start with small and light products if you are low in initial cash investment. These products will cost less to ship and less to store than big, heavy, bulky products.

4. If you are on a tight budget, use your smartphone to take pictures and harness apps like GIMP and Canva to edit them. GIMP (similar to Adobe Photoshop) is a free app that allows you to cut out your product and paste it on a white background. Canva is a drag and drop website where you can create beautiful, poster-like images for your product listing pages.

5. Sell your own clothes and belongings on Poshmark in order to get the hang of e-commerce. Honing your skills by selling some of your own goods on Poshmark first will teach you about writing product descriptions, shipping and fulfillment, and customer preferences.

6. Launch on Etsy to test products before expanding your business. For Etsy, you don’t even need a barcode; only images and a product description are required. By testing first, you can save on the cost of launching. The bottom 80 percent of products will not survive.

7. Target your demographic with PickFu. PickFu.com allows you to ask your target demographic if they like your products for only $1 per response. Use it to test photos and product ideas so you don’t waste time or money on a bad product launch.

8. Once you have figured out the top 20 percent winners on Etsy and PickFu, then launch the product on Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service. It’s important to launch on Amazon using FBA because this will get you the “Prime” badge, which can significantly increase your sales. Plus, you will no longer have to deal with customer service or order fulfillment, as Amazon will handle it all for you.

9. Invest in Amazon advertising. The pay-per-click platform is a low-cost way to generate sales and increase your organic ranking.

10. Later, you can launch products on Shopify to build your brand and catch sales from influencers. The Shopify app called Shogun allows you to create easy drag-and-drop brand websites. Divert influencer traffic here because Shopify has the lowest fees.

Tracy Sun is the cofounder and SVP of seller experience for Poshmark. She has this to say about Shan Shan Fu. “Our community and their triumphs are the heart of Poshmark and Shan Shan Fu is truly a reflection of that. Her ability to grow her side hustle into a thriving full-time reselling career serves as inspiration to many. Her journey is a testament to the entrepreneurial freedom found through reselling. We are so proud she is a member of the Poshmark community.”

Fu’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from China in the 1990s. Although her father was trained as an engineer and her mother as a doctor, they were not able to pursue their professional careers once they arrived in America due to their degrees not being honored. They had to start from scratch. After working in grocery stores for a long time, Fu’s father decided to move to Mexico and start an import/export business. He met with great success. Since then, Fu felt called to follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps.

The greatest challenges of running her own e-commerce business, Fu says, are lack of stability and uncertainty. Also, for women’s clothing, a return rate of 20 to 30 percent is not uncommon. This can eat into your profit margins. You may face cash flow problems when you have to pay for inventory and advertising upfront, even though you may not sell the products until months later. That is why Fu recommends her “low-risk, low investment method.”

That said, Fu loves what she does and, she remarks, when you love what you do, it’s like doubling your lifespan. “Now, instead of enjoying just time after work and on weekends, you enjoy time during work,” she explains.

To people looking to tap into their life purpose by starting their own e-commerce companies, Fu offers this advice. “Self-reflection is the first step. Assess and rank your primary joys and drivers for happiness. When you understand what makes you happy, get ready to overcome your fear of failure, procrastination, and lack of progress by embracing the idea of being uncomfortable. When you are uncomfortable, that means you are successfully pushing yourself forward.”

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