Appliances & Durable Goods


Hey Alexa, Should We Worry About Kids And Smart Speakers?

NPR Technology

About 26.2 percent of American households have a smart speaker. It can play NPR and tell you the weather. It can even read your kids a bedtime story. But some parents have expressed concern that as their kids start asking smart speakers for things, those kids might turn into "demanding little twerps." Or voice assistants will give inappropriate information.


Amazon Echo Flex: All you need to know about the plug-in smart speaker with Alexa voice control

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Over the past five years the Amazon Echo and Alexa voice service has paved the way for exciting smart home devices. Now we are being introduced the brand's hottest new release: the Echo Flex - a smart speaker that saves on space by conveniently plugging straight into the wall. With a price tag of just £24.99, the Echo Flex is certainly one of the cheapest options to get Amazon's Alexa in more places throughout your home. It is available for pre-order now and due for release tomorrow 14 November 2019. Whether it's in your hallway, kitchen, or attic, this impressive smart speaker will assist you in a multitude of everyday tasks.


Is the all-new Amazon Echo worth the money?

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Amazon's Echo has been our long-time favorite in the lineup of Alexa-enabled smart speakers and displays. Since its introduction in 2015, the Echo has stood out in an increasingly congested marketplace for its sound quality, far-field voice technology, and minimal footprint. The new Echo is no exception to that trend with its improved speaker, rounded design, and ever-helpful Alexa. Let's dig a little deeper into what the third-generation Echo is about and whether you should get one. The third-generation Echo can put out decent sound with its 0.8-inch tweeter and 3-inch woofer.


Echo Dot with Clock: Amazon's cheap Alexa alarm clock replacement

The Guardian

Amazon has a new twist on its popular cut-price Echo Dot smart speaker, now setting its sights squarely on your beleaguered bedside alarm clock with a new LED display embedded in the side. The Echo Dot with Clock is one of those true Ronseal products - it says what it does on the tin. It is literally the same as the excellent third-generation Echo Dot, but is only available in white and has a white LED display showing the time peeking through the fabric side. It's formally priced at £60 – £10 more than the regular Echo Dot – but is frequently discounted to about half that. You get the same four-way buttons on the top: volume up and down, mute for the microphones and an action button.


Explainable-AI (Artificial Intelligence) Image Recognition Startup Pilots Smart Appliance with Bosch

#artificialintelligence

Z Advanced Computing, Inc. (ZAC), an AI (Artificial Intelligence) software startup, is developing its Smart Home product line through a paid-pilot for smart appliances for BSH Home Appliances, the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe and one of the largest in the world. BSH Home Appliances Corporation is a subsidiary of the Bosch Group, originally a joint venture between Robert Bosch GmbH and Siemens AG. ZAC Smart Home product line uses ZAC Explainable-AI Image Recognition. ZAC is the first to apply Explainable-AI in Machine Learning. "You cannot do this with other techniques, such as Deep Convolutional Neural Networks," said Dr. Saied Tadayon, CTO of ZAC.


Apple may have quietly rolled out a fix for its Homepod after a glitch rendered the speakers useless

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new iOS update may be quietly patching up a software flaw that sent some of Apple's smart speakers spiraling out of commission. As reported by MacRumors, Apple has introduced yet another update to its iOS - the third update since it was release in September. Notably, however, the only change appears to be relating to software for the its Homepod, the company's only smart speaker. Apple hasn't said outright that this new software will correct the issue, but as noted by The Verge, it's unlikely the company would roll out any updates without correcting flaws in previous software. Apple's Homepod encountered an update issue that rendered the device unusable.


The 5 best Amazon deals you can get this Wednesday

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Don't miss out on the top five Amazon deals this Wednesday. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today's newsroom and any business incentives. The art of hunting for deals has become is a finely crafted skill. Above all else, the motto to stand by is as follows: you can never find a good deal on a bad product.


Create a Chatbot: Machine Learning vs NLP

#artificialintelligence

This is no longer a plot of a futuristic book or movie, where the protagonist, using voice commands, sets the course of a spaceship. Voice assistants really simplify life and help to interact with technology much faster. It is quite simple to find some useful information about the development of chatbot and other AI technologies. A few years ago, it was hard to imagine how demanding smart speakers from Apple, Google, and other technical giants would be. But now, almost half of the American population uses voice commands to control technology.


Google Nest Mini offers better intelligence, louder sound and whole home audio

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Google designers show their latest devices during a visit to its hardware studio where they designed the company's new Pixel 4 flagship phone, Pixel Go laptop, Pixel Buds wireless headphones, Nest Mini smart speaker and Nest Wifi system. Though the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones may be the stars of the Made by Google media event in New York City, a new and impressive smart speaker garnered quite a bit of chatter, too. Nest Mini ($49), which is about the size of a doughnut, has some improved hardware and software to go up against its primary competitor, Amazon Echo Dot. This diminutive smart speaker offers twice the bass as the original Google Home Mini, the company says. Indeed, the audio sounded fuller and louder than its predecessor when we cranked it up in a post-event demo session.


Laundroid: A home robot that folds and sorts clothes ZDNet

#artificialintelligence

Engineers at Tokyo-based company Seven Dreamers started developing a laundry-folding robot called Laundroid in 2005, and now, there is finally a robot to show off at CES 2018. We haven't seen it in person yet, but we spoke with Seven Dreamers CEO Shin Sakane for a preview. The idea is: You drop clean, dry clothes into a box in a pretty home appliance, and then several hours later you can collect the folded, sorted items. "Soft material like clothing is one of the hardest problems for AI even now," Sakane says. "Laundry folding seems like an easy task but it's actually very hard, so that's why no one has ever done it before."