Google's response to the Echo, Amazon's voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker/smart home hub, will arrive sometime this year, according to Recode. The device, which will reportedly look like Google's OnHub Wi-Fi router (an excellent one), is said to be codenamed "Chirp" and integrate Google's existing voice assistant (seen on Android and in Chrome) with its search. The dark cylinder look is so in right now. As a direct Amazon Echo rival, the device will likely play a major role in Google's smart home strategy. The Echo has quickly ascended to become one the most beloved gadgets in recent years.
The Kit originally came with a copy of the Raspberry Pi Magazine. Google is working on more artificial intelligence projects to follow its Voice Kit for Raspberry Pi. Four ways to explore the use of voice technology for your business. Google's AIY Voice Kit is a do-it-yourself voice-recognition kit for Raspberry Pi-based maker projects. The initial run of the kits sold out in a few hours, but Google said more will be available for purchase in stores and online in the US in the coming weeks, and the kit will be available elsewhere by the end of the year.
PayPal may be looking into voice recognition to enable more digital commerce use cases in the near future, if a new post-MWC blog post offers any hints. Looking back on last week's event -- for which we featured extensive firsthand coverage -- PayPal Head of Global Initiatives Anuj Nayar notes two dominant trends. One is the Internet of Things, including new connected car technologies like PayPal's new car commerce feature with Shell and Jaguar (and Apple). The other, as Nayar puts it, is "conversational commerce." Looking at emerging digital commerce opportunities in areas like virtual reality, connected appliances, and even drones, Nayar asserts that it "won't be convenient or realistic to pull out a credit card or punch in your information in any of these scenarios".
Amazon is planning to release a pair of Alexa-enabled smartglasses as the latest addition to its range of voice-controlled devices, according to reports. Unlike most previous smartglasses, such as the ill-fated Google Glass experiment and Snapchat's Spectacles, the Amazon glasses won't feature a camera in any form, bypassing the privacy concerns that have plagued the form-factor in the past. Instead, they will focus on providing a link to Alexa, Amazon's voice-controlled personal assistant, through a bone-conduction audio system, which transmits sounds into the wearer's head by vibrating their skull, rather than through headphones inserted in their ear. According to a report by the Financial Times, the glasses could be revealed at a product launch event expected to be held soon alongside a home security camera, designed to tie in with its Echo Show video screen. Other reports have suggested the company will shortly release a new version of the Fire TV, its streaming media set-top box, with an Echo-style speaker system built-in.
The Internet of Things is taking on a larger role in the home. From voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo to smart appliances, tech companies are on a mission to make everyday life easier through IoT devices. With technology, of course, there's always something new around the corner, and it's expected that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will continue to expand the capabilities of IoT devices. To get an insider's perspective on what may be coming, we asked 11 Forbes Technology Council members to share what they think will be the next big thing in at-home IoT tech. IoT systems learning an individual's patterns, habits, preferences and autonomously operating are essential with the growing number of IoT devices at home.