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.
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.
Google achieves that by pulling together the best features from Apple, Samsung and other phones and offering them at prices comparable to iPhones -- starting at about 650 for the regular, 5-inch model and 770 for the 5.5-inch "XL" edition. Both versions go on sale Thursday through Verizon, Best Buy and Google's online store. We tested the Pixel XL model; the regular version has identical features except for its smaller display and battery -- still enough for 13 hours of Internet use, according to Google. With either, you get an excellent camera and a strong voice assistant that promises to get smarter. The Pixel isn't quite an iPhone replacement, as Google wants you to believe; hardware is just part of what makes an iPhone an iPhone.
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.
I'll be honest: Even though I'm supposed to be a technology expert, I've long resisted using Siri and my smartphone's voice commands. All the errors were frustrating and often seemed to eat up more time than just typing in commands and opening up apps manually. These days, though, I've found myself using Siri more often. Speech recognition has gotten a lot better, and Siri has gotten a lot smarter and more powerful. You can do virtually anything via your phone's voice commands, from posting to Twitter to finding the best pizza pie to figuring out just how deep 20,000 leagues really is.