Amazon Echo

Apple Was Allegedly 'Dithered' With The Development Of The HomePod

International Business Times

Apple took three years to develop its Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker. According to a new report, the HomePod was originally just a side project at Apple it wasn't really intended to be an Amazon Echo competitor. Sources told Bloomberg that the development of the Apple HomePod began in 2012. At the time, it was merely a side project, which is something that's fairly common within the company. Sources also said that development for the HomePod was canceled and resurrected "several times" because Apple couldn't figure out where it would fit within its current lineup of other products.

Apple HomePod's Rescheduled Release To Benefit Amazon Echo Series Holiday Sales

International Business Times

It has now become inevitable for Amazon's Echo series to reign supreme in the smart speaker market this holiday season after Apple decided to reschedule the launch of its HomePod device to early next year. This will consequently benefit the manufacturers of the Echo speakers. On Tuesday, DigiTimes disclosed that the delayed release of Apple's HomePod would translate to the domination of the Amazon Echo series in the market during the year-end holidays of 2017. The outlet also learned from a Chinese language report that Amazon has already received its supply of Echo Spot and Echo Show speakers for the holiday season. Amazon's Echo speakers are being manufactured by Foxconn Electronics and Compal Electronics.

Amazon Echos given to people in need to reduce demands on caregivers

FOX News

Whether it's telling you whether or not you need to take a raincoat on a walk or controlling the lights in your apartment with a simple verbal command, there are plenty of ways that smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home make our lives a little bit easier. But can they fundamentally improve people's lives? That's the question posed by a trial currently taking place in the U.K., in which a small number of people with learning disabilities are given devices like the Echo to see whether they can help make their lives easier -- and save the care sector some money in the process. The trial gave these devices to five people in Wales for a six-month period. The study will examine whether, during that time, they reduce the need to staff people's homes 24/7, by carrying out caregiver jobs including offering reminders about taking medication, attending appointments, and carrying out some household tasks.

Hate holiday shopping? Amazon Echo is a gift everyone (yes, everyone) can enjoy


The holidays are truly the most wonderful time of year: Family dinners, twinkling lights, maybe a high school reunion or two -- but the fact remains that buying the perfect present for loved ones takes some serious work. What kind of present will accurately show your love for your mom and not make dad feel left out? What the heck does dad even like? What do you get for the uncle who has everything or the other uncle who also has everything?! This holiday season, consider a present that can bring joy to everyone in your life at once.

Amazon Echo is the latest device to benefit (RED)


Want to get a smart speaker while contributing to an important cause? Amazon has you covered: it just unveiled a Product (RED) version of its second-generation Echo. As you might expect, buying the crimson-hued device will contribute 10 percent (in this case, $10) of its purchase price to fighting AIDS through the Global Fund. It happens to be considerably more eye-catching, too, which might help if you'd rather have your speaker stand out than blend into the decor. You can pre-order the (RED) Echo right now in the US, with a formal release slated for December 6th.

This smart device can be just the thing you need to make the holidays magical


Preparing for the holidays can be pretty stressful. Between shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, organizing, and making sure you see all your friends and loved ones during the season, the holidays can often feel like a pressure cooker, with details falling by the wayside. You may find yourself an extra set of hands … or even a spare brain at times. Until we do have the ability to clone ourselves, Amazon Echo with Alexa is the next best thing -- and our favorite right-hand holiday helper. This smart device may not be able to do everything on your to-do list, but it's like having your very own elf, always at the ready to tackle your next holiday item and to take the stress out of the season.

LG, Naver team up for ThinQ Hub AI speaker


LG Electronics' AI speaker, ThinQ Hub, will be powered by Naver's Clova AI platform, the companies have said. ThinQ Hub comes with LG's own AI platform but owners can get Clova through a firmware update. The speaker, makes up part of LG's SmartThinQ smart home line-up, was designed to control and monitor LG-made home appliances. LG opened up the platform's API to developers last month. Despite having its own AI installed, LG likely teamed up with Naver to get the latter's streaming music service, which is the most popular service for AI speaker owners.

'Amazon's Alexa is now part of the family – I just hope she doesn't replace me'

The Guardian

The most futuristic thing I have ever bought used to be a Sonos music player. I'd have people over just to show it off. "Name a song," I'd say. "Go on, any version of any song by any act that ever lived. So they would, and I'd pull out my phone and – hey presto – seconds later, that song would boom out across my living room like magic.

Amazon Echo, Google Home Hack: Devices At Risk For Blueborne Attack

International Business Times

A number of serious security flaws discovered to affect Bluetooth devices earlier this year are now plaguing artificial intelligence-based, voice-activated speakers including Google Home and Amazon Echo. Security firm Armis--the same group that first disclosed the Bluetooth vulnerabilities, dubbed Blueborne, in September--has issued new warning that as many as 15 million Amazon Echo devices and five million Google Home speakers are currently at risk. According to researchers, the Amazon Echo is susceptible to two primary vulnerabilities related to Blueborne. The first is a remote code execution vulnerability that would allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on the device that could force it to perform malicious actions without the device owner's knowledge. In a demonstration video posted on YouTube Armis researchers, they show the attack in action.

Apple HomePod release date: Siri speaker delayed until early 2018, company says

The Independent

Apple has delayed the HomePod, its next big new release. The Siri-enabled speaker is intended to be Apple's response to the increasing popularity of gadgets like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and the Sonos One. But it will have to wait a while before taking them on, since it has been delayed until "early 2018". "We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers," a statement from Apple said. "We'll start shipping in the US, UK, and Australia in early 2018."