Phone


Google might take on Amazon with its own version of the Echo Dot

Mashable

The company is working on a new, smaller version of its Google Home speaker that will launch later this year, alongside two new Pixel phones and a new Pixel-branded Chromebook, Android Police reports. In addition to the new speaker, Android Police reports Google is also preparing a new Chromebook that will carry the Pixel name. Importantly, the report notes the new notebook will almost certainly run Chrome OS, not the long-rumored Chrome OS and Android mashup that's been whispered about for so long. Though some reports said Google once had plans to merge Android and Chrome, the company has publicly said it has no plans to retire Chrome OS.


One week with Google Assistant

Engadget

I had been in a years-long relationship with Siri when my affair with the Google Assistant began. I set up a Google Home speaker in my apartment and linked it to my lamp. Being able to just tell Assistant to turn my lights on and off or play some "chill at home" music has been my favorite thing about welcoming the smart speaker into my home. Siri can pronounce my name correctly without having to phonetically spell it in her head.


Essential's startup advantage might come back to haunt it

Engadget

This is the phone (and company) that Rubin thinks is innovative enough to take on big players like Apple and Samsung. Indeed, this Home device is compatible with existing voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa -- so long as their respective makers are willing to play nice with Essential's hardware. Scott Croyle, the chief design and product officer of Nextbit, had positive things to say about Essential (Nextbit is the startup company behind Robin, an Android phone with cloud integration). For example, the Home device's accessory docking pins are identical to the PH-1's.


IoT weekly round-up: Thursday 17th August 2017 - Internet of Things Blog

#artificialintelligence

This week, customers in Canada and the U.S. can use Google Home to make phone calls, Microsoft's been testing autonomous gliders, and machine learning could help unearth new species of plant life from among centuries of unclassified data. Good news for telephone bill payers in the U.S. and Canada – as of this week, you can now make free phone calls through Google Home. The gliders need very little power, can track upward hot air currents and even predict where they're going to go next, enabling them to adjust their position to stay airborne as long as possible. The record so far is over five hours – showing that the gliders are reasonably adept at dealing with uncertainty, and making accurate predictions as to the location of the next hot air current.


Google Home can now make calls and it won't cost you a dime

#artificialintelligence

Google has just pushed an update to its Home smart speaker that lets you make calls to any phone number in the US and Canada for free. As with its other features, you can place a call with your voice: just say, "Hey Google, Call Abhimanyu," or whoever else you've been dying to talk to, and it'll do your bidding instantly over Wi-Fi. It's worth noting that you can't call 911 with Home; I can't yet be sure if that's a good thing. To get started with voice calls on Home, say "Hey Google, call *contact name*" and you'll be on your way.


Hello! Google Home now makes calls

USATODAY

Google Home, the Internet giant's answer to the Amazon Echo-connected speaker, is ready to start making phone calls. The feature first announced in May means the Home speaker can now make free phone calls to folks in your Google contact list in the U.S. and Canada. As with many new Google features, free phone calls are being rolled out to select users and will expand nationally within the next 2 weeks. Forrester Research says some 20 million units of Amazon's Echo devices will have sold by the end of 2017.


Google Home hands-free calling is here, but doesn't yet have caller ID

PCWorld

Starting Wednesday, you'll be able to use your Home speaker to place a call to virtually any person in your contacts or business across the U.S. or Canada, but there's a catch: The recipient won't know who's calling. Since Google Home uses its own number to place the call, the recipient will see "Unknown" or "No Caller ID" on their end. Voice calling for Google Home is rolling out to all speakers today. The impact on you--and your Home: Voice calling on Google Home isn't quite the killer feature we thought it would be, but at least the pieces are definitely in place for something awesome.


Ditch That Landline and Use Google Home Instead

WIRED

You can now call any business or person in your contacts, as long as they live in the US or Canada, just by asking Google to do so. You should also sign up for either a Google Voice or Project Fi account. For now, if you make calls out from your Google Home, others will see it as "No Caller ID" or "Unknown." Even with the new calling features, Google Home won't have you throwing out your smartphone anytime soon.


Smartphone cameras are getting

FOX News

Big changes are coming to your phone's smartphone camera next year, with Qualcomm previewing an update to its image signal processor (ISP) that will better support features like face recognition and mixed reality. While the next major Snapdragon update won't arrive until next year, the changes planned for the Spectra ISP have major implications not just for the cameras on 2018 Android phones but for virtual- and augmented reality headsets as well. Specifically, Qualcomm is promising that its new camera module will feature improved biometric sensing for detecting people's faces and support for depth sensing that can power mixed reality features for smartphones and headsets. The iris authentication module provides always-on security that can support phone unlocking features.


How A.I. Is Creating Building Blocks to Reshape Music and Art

#artificialintelligence

In the mid-1990s, Douglas Eck worked as a database programmer in Albuquerque while moonlighting as a musician. Last spring, a few years after taking a research job at Google, Mr. Eck pitched the same idea he pitched Mr. Hofstadter all those years ago. Called deep neural networks, these complex mathematical systems allow machines to learn specific behavior by analyzing vast amounts of data. By looking for common patterns in millions of bicycle photos, for instance, a neural network can learn to recognize a bike.