Apple at the time said getting developers involved would greatly improve Siri, but in USA TODAY tests done in the fall when the new Siri was launched, the assistant didn't seem that different. The company really needs to finally get Siri up to par and "solve voice, or they become irrelevant," says Peter Pham, president of Science, Inc., a Los Angeles based tech incubator. In USA TODAY's own A/B/C tests between Google, Amazon and Siri, Google far out-paced both Apple and Amazon, and is currently the best showcase of what's possible with voice computing. Forrester expects Amazon to sell 20 million Echos by the end of this year.
At Google's recent I/O event, for example, the company debuted its new Lens capability for Google Assistant, which can provide information about the objects and places within your view. Behind the scenes, however, the effort to make something like Lens work involves an enormous amount of technology, including reading the live video input from the camera (a type of sensor, by the way), applying AI-enabled computer vision algorithms to both recognize the objects and their relative location, combining that with location details from the phone's GPS and/or WiFi signals, looking up relevant information on the objects, and then combining all of that onto the phone's display. Companies like Qualcomm are also starting to demonstrate how components like DSPs (digital signal processors) can be very power-efficient tools for doing AI. USA TODAY columnist Bob O'Donnell is the president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, a market research and consulting firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community.
USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham thinks the new gesture controlled DJI Spark drone is the wave of the future in computing. Which leads many to believe a future of sensors will indeed let us use our eyes, facial gestures and hand movements to get us everything we want. USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham unboxes and checks out the new DJI Spark drone that can be controled with simple hand gestures. We're set to sit down with him in a few days at the Code conference for an extended TalkingTech podcast interview.
LOS ANGELES -- Google announced new features for its Google Home personal assistant product Wednesday, with one key catch-up to rival Amazon -- free phone calls to the United States and Canada mobile and landline phones. 2 in the personal digital assistant speaker market to Amazon's Echo speaker line, announced many new tools for the Home that tap into the Google Assistant. The feature that many users will opt for is sure to be free phone calls, which will come to Google Home over the next few months, said Rishi Chandra, Google's vice-president of Home products. Amazon added voice calling and messaging to Alexa earlier this month.
Elon Musk wants to link human brains with computers. The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors is exploring just such a connection through another company he has launched, called Neuralink. If there's anything else entrepreneur has on his To Do list, he'll have to also invent life-extension technology just so he can stick around long enough to get everything done. And now there's another venture: creating micro-implants that, once inserted in the brain, can not just fix conditions such as epilepsy but potentially turn your brain into a computer-assisted powerhouse. Time to screen The Matrix, people.
Elon Musk has stated that he is "fairly confident" that Model 3 deliveries will start by the end of 2017. Tesla stock was on the rise during late morning trading Friday. If there's anything else entrepreneur has on his To Do list, he'll have to also invent life-extension technology just so he can stick around long enough to get everything done. And now there's another venture: creating micro-implants that once inserted in the brain can not just fix conditions such as epilepsy but potentially turn your brain into a computer-assisted powerhouse. Time to screen The Matrix, people.
Amazon's Echo and Dot connected speakers are sold out, and 35 new products will have Alexa built-in this year. Did Alexa win over Siri, Cortana and Hey Google? LOS ANGELES -- Apple's Siri has been around five years, but Amazon's Alexa is the coolest kid on the voice- computing block now. At least, so it seemed at this month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where many manufacturers touted their Alexa functionality as a major selling for 35 new product introductions, including a car, refrigerator, smartphone, robot, Internet router and vacuum cleaner. "There's a real hunger for the next big thing," says Benedict Evans, a partner with investment firm Andreessen Horowitz.
For literally billions of people around the world, smartphones have become their primary computing device, and Intel has had little impact there to date, even despite purchasing cellular radio manufacturer Infineon back in 2011. Last week's purchase of Nervana Systems gives Intel a much stronger presence in the growing market for deep learning applications. Speaking of cloud computing, Intel is also hoping to highlight its growing data center business and advancements from last year's Altera purchase at IDF this week. Like many other maturing tech companies, including Apple, Intel is in the process of transitioning its business from one that's been heavily weighted towards a legacy market that has likely peaked, to one that's more focused on smaller, but growing opportunities.