smart speaker

Apple HomePod release date may be near, rumors say

FOX News

Amazon's Echo smart speaker is about to get a hot new rival – the Apple HomePod. The device was originally supposed to go on sale last year and was ultimately delayed, but latest rumors suggest a HomePod release date is just around the corner. The HomePod is a direct rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers. It's powered by Apple's Siri virtual assistant, and can be controlled by voice commands. Just like the Echo, HomePod will perform tasks like playing music or telling you about the weather.

AI voice assistant developer Rokid raises $100M Series B extension to build its US presence


Rokid, a Chinese startup that makes an AI voice assistant and smart devices, just raised a Series B extension round led by Temasek Holdings, with participation from Credit Suisse, IDG Capital and CDIB Capital. The size of the round was not released, but a source familiar with the deal told TechCrunch that it is $100 million. The company's previous funding was its Series B round, which was announced in November 2016. Founder and chief executive officer Mingming Zhu says Rokid raised a Series B instead of a C round because the company, which is based in Hangzhou, China with research centers in Beijing and San Francisco that develop its proprietary natural language processing, image processing, face recognition and robotics technology, is still in its early stages. Rokid wants to focus on gathering more resources and bringing in strategic investors like Temasek Holdings before moving on to a Series C.

How Big Tech Is Profiting by Selling AI-as-a-Service


Artificial intelligence (AI) is still in its infancy, but it is truly a transformational technology. Thus far, mainly the companies with the largest stores of data have been able to benefit from the science. When talking about AI, most are referring to machine learning and, more specifically, deep learning, a technique that requires the processing of massive amounts of data in order to train these systems. So far these innovations haven't been largely available to smaller companies, but that is changing. The widespread adoption of cloud computing is beginning to alter that dynamic, as companies are working to incorporate these capabilities into their cloud offerings.

Are Google's smart gadget wrecking YOUR wifi?

Daily Mail

Google had admitted a bug in its smart home products is causing major wifi woes for users. The firm's Chromecast TV gadgets and Google Home smart speaker are reportedly overloading home Wi-Fi networks. Google today admitted the bug was real - and promised to fix it tomorrow. Google had admitted a bug in its smart home products is causing major wifi woes for users. The Chromecast TV gadgets and Google Home smart speaker (pictured) are overloading home Wi-Fi networks.

Suppliers ship 1m HomePod speakers to Apple

Daily Mail

Apple's delayed $349 'HomePod' smart speaker is finally set to go on sale. It had been claimed that the $349 gadget, originally supposed to go on sale last year, was launching'within weeks'. Now, it has been claimed a million of the smart devices have been shipped to Apple by suppliers ahead of the launch, which could happen within days. The new $349 smart'HomePod' home speaker will go on sale later this year, and use Siri to aplay music and answer questions. Apple also unveiled iOS 11 and new iPads at the event.

Echo Spot: 'smart clock' launched as Amazon seeks to lock rivals out of home

The Guardian

Firm hopes to extend its market dominance further as Alexa-powered, 2.5in-screened smart speaker comes to UK Tue 16 Jan 2018 04.00 EST Last modified on Tue 16 Jan 2018 04.04 EST Amazon is launching its small clock-like Echo Spot in the UK, as it continues to cement its market dominance. The Echo Spot is small sphere with a 2.5in circular screen, camera and clock face that's capable of showing the time as well as other at-a-glance information, similar to the larger Echo Show that launched earlier in the year. "The Spot is to the Show what the Dot is to the original Echo," said Rich Suplee, head of Alexa for Amazon in Europe. "So this is a smaller, stylish and more affordable version of an Echo with a screen." Amazon found great success with its Echo Dot, which was a smaller, cheaper alternative to the full-size Echo speaker – effectively an Echo with a less powerful speaker.

One in six Americans owns a smart speaker, according to study


There's no doubt that smart speakers are selling like hotcakes, but how many people own them, exactly? They've published findings of a study which estimates that one in six Americans (16 percent) owns a smart speaker of some kind -- a huge amount if the study is precise, and a whopping 128 percent higher than a year earlier. About 7 percent of Americans reportedly bought at least one speaker between Black Friday (November 24th) and then end of 2017, with 4 percent of Americans having bought their very first speaker. Not surprisingly, Amazon still rules this fledgling market. The study indicates that 11 percent of Americans have one of Amazon's Echo speakers, while 4 percent have a Google Home of some kind thanks to its relatively late arrival.

In 2018, the AI will be listening more than ever: Is our privacy under threat?


It seems strange in a world where Facebook users believe the social network listens to their private spoken conversations -- and produces related adverts -- that smart, learning and always-listening devices with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are suddenly so popular. At CES 2017, Alexa ruled the nascent smart speaker roost, as the personal assistant appeared on devices beyond those of Amazon's own Echo range. Google countered with the Google Assistant, and at CES 2018 we have seen both spread far and wide. Read More: Hello, computer - As Alexa soars and Siri flags, what's next for the virtual assistant? Finding Alexa or Google Assistant (or even both) inside a television or speaker is no longer a surprise.

39 million Americans now own a smart speaker, report claims


One in six Americans now own a smart speaker, according to new research out this week from NPR and Edison Research – a figure that's up 128 percent from January, 2017. Amazon's Echo speakers are still in the lead, the report says, as 11 percent now own an Amazon Alexa device compared with 4 percent who own a Google Home product. Today, 16 percent of Americans own a smart speaker, or around 39 million people. The holiday shopping season also seemed to have played a role in the increased adoption of smart devices in the U.S., with 7 percent of Americans reporting they acquired at least one smart speaker between Black Friday and the end of December, and 4 percent saying they acquired their first smart speaker during the holidays. Both Amazon and Google used the holiday shopping season to their advantage in terms of acquiring market share for their respective devices by slashing prices to encourage more impulse buys, and by heavily promoting the items across their storefronts.

Why Every Entrepreneur Should Get a Personal Assistant Gadget ?


You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media. Technology is incorporated into every single aspect of our life, right from waking up from the smartphone alarm to using maps while driving. It was created to make our life easier. When used correctly, the negative impact of technology can balance the positive. Virtual assistant technology is another buzzword in the startup world that is helping entrepreneurs by performing tasks on their behalf.