Amazon Echo


Jailbreaking your connected coffee machine: The idiocy of things

ZDNet

Yes, that data is valuable to the device manufacturer, too, which runs cloud services in order to make that product work. But, increasingly, I am starting to see smart devices that not only rely on connectivity for basic functionality but use networking and sensors in order to prevent end-users from actually getting the most out of their devices. Well, the consumable supplies business for printers is huge. Newer-generation Keurig machines actually scan and validate the supplies using digital rights management (DRM) before brewing.


Apple HomePod faces tough odds against Amazon Echo in connected home market

Boston Herald

Connected speakers are part of a broader white-hot market for connected home devices, which Amazon, and Google hope to control against rival devices planned by number of others like Apple and Microsoft. CIRP estimates that Amazon has sold 15 million Echos, accounting for 75% of the U.S. market, while Google has sold an estimated 5 million Homes, or 24%. While sales of 15 million Amazon Echo units is a big number, as of last year there were about 125 million U.S. households. The HomePod speaker will be heavier than Echo or Google Home, and Kevin Tofel, a gadget enthusiast and blogger, said that means it will offer much better sound.


Amazon to release Alexa-powered smartglasses, reports say

The Guardian

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. Also, Google Home owners report using their devices daily or more often slightly more than Amazon Echo owners, across all these varied applications and uses." In 2016, Amazon began expanding the range, releasing the smaller Echo Dot, the Echo Look camera and the Echo Show with a screen. Alexa, the smart assistant that powers the range, also became integrated into Amazon's Fire range of video streaming devices and tablets, and is also available as a smartphone app and plugin for third-party products such as cars, speakers and TVs.


Google to announce $49 Google Home Mini in October: Report

ZDNet

Google is planning to release a mini version of its Google Home smart speaker, called the Google Home Mini, according to Droid Life. The announcement could come as soon as Google's Pixel 2 event on Oct. 4. The Google Home Mini will be available in Chalk, Charcoal, and Coral colors, the Android-focused blog reported. Competitor Amazon offers different size options for its Amazon Echo platform, including a small Amazon Echo Dot.


Google to take on Amazon with $49 mini smart speaker

Daily Mail

The tech firm uploaded a short 35 second teaser to YouTube today, offering eager fans the chance to sign up to receive more information. The tech firm uploaded a short 35 second teaser to YouTube today, offering eager fans the chance to sign up to receive more information. Reports suggest Google is investing $880 million (£709 million) in LG's flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens. Reports suggest Google is investing $880 million (£709 million) in LG's flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens for their Pixel 2 handset (pictured is first-generation Pixel handsets) In March, the head of hardware at Google first confirmed that the firm is developing a second-generation Pixel for the'premium smartphone market'.


Roku might be making its own smart speaker

Mashable

First noticed by Variety, Roku has listed open positions that are specific to tying audio with software. For example, Sr. Software Engineer, New Products, Audio (Expert) requires candidates with experience taking "new hardware platforms from prototype to mass production." The most notable resumé belongs to Jim Cortez, a Senior Software Engineer who works on voice interfaces for the company. He was previously the cofounder of Ivee, a company that makes smart home speakers in the same vein as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.


Roku might be building its own smart speaker

Engadget

Roku is currently advertising for multiple roles, with an eye on recruiting audio and voice experts. It's also on the hunt for a "voice user interface designer" who will act as its "expert on all things voice related." One such person is senior software engineer Jim Cortez, who is tinkering with "voice interfaces" for his employer. Notably, Cortez co-founded Ivee, a startup that produced "home voice assistants" such as the Ivee Voice and Ivee Sleek.


Whiskey, Alexa, and me: A night alone in the woods with digital assistants

Mashable

It was just me, a bottle of moderately priced whiskey, a tiny cabin filled with tchotchkes, and my robot friends Google Home and Amazon Echo. Alexa and Google Assistant -- the digital brain that powers Google Home -- answered question after question with something like, "My apologies, I don't understand." I found smart speaker games are best when they incorporate voice actors, sound effects, and music -- like radio you can interact with. Digital assistants are the future, and they're absolutely great at accessing media, controlling smart devices, and making phone and video calls.


Get an Amazon Echo for cheap

Mashable

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Well, here's an idea: why don't you get a certified refurbished Amazon Echo? It's a previously owned Echo that Amazon has tested, spiffed up, and guarantees works just like a brand-new one--only it's about half as expensive. The certified refurbished Echo comes with a limited one-year warranty, which should ease any doubts you have about the previous owner.


'South Park' Season Premiere Sets Off Amazon Echo, Google Home Speakers

International Business Times

But the show also took the opportunity to needle another group: viewers with smart home speakers. In the episode, Cartman issued various typical -- and slightly less typical -- commands to his on-screen Amazon Echo and Google Homer speakers and, in what was more than likely an intentional move, viewers' speakers followed suit. Voice home assistants like the Google Home and Amazon Echo have occasionally had problems with accidentally taking commands from TV broadcasts. An Adobe survey found that Amazon's Echos and Google Home saw the biggest spikes in sales during the 2016 holiday season and that smart home device integration should see further increases in 2017.