Goto

Collaborating Authors

smart speaker


Amazon Echo Show 5 smart speaker is half price

Daily Mail - Science & tech

We thought Amazon reserved its very best deals for Black Friday, but today they've surprised us with a top saving on the bestselling Amazon Echo Show 5. This device was just £39.99 over Black Friday, and now it's back on sale for its record low price with a whopping 50 per cent off. The Echo Show 5, which boasts a 5.5-inch touch screen display and camera, can now be picked up for just £39.99 (originally £79.99), saving you £40. Amazon's Echo Show 5 smart speaker is on sale with 50 per cent off - reduced to just £39.99 The popular smart speaker has earned a perfect five-star rating from more than 74,000 reviewers, who've described it as'fantastic', a'must-have' and the'best Echo to date'.


This is the best price we've ever seen on Google's Nest Audio smart speaker

Mashable

SAVE $20: As of Feb. 24, the Google Nest Audio is on sale for only $79.99 at B&H Photo Video, Best Buy, Target, and the Google Store as of Feb. 24. After taking each of them for a test drive, Mashable tech reporter Brenda Stolyar noticed "plenty of differences between each one that might sway your opinion." Ultimately, though, she gave the crown to the Nest Audio for several reasons: It looks great, its companion app is easy to use, it's compatible with lots of other smart home accessories, and its voice assistant the most knowledgeable of the bunch. But don't take our word for it: B&H Photo Video, Best Buy, Target, and the Google Store all have the Nest Audio on sale for just $79.99, so you can save $20 when you see what all the fuss is about. The Nest Audio comes in five different colors (left to right): Sage, Sand, Sky, Chalk, and Charcoal.


Listening to Machines

#artificialintelligence

How do you teach an AI to walk? Artificial Intelligence, as we typically use the term right now, means a computational system that learns through pattern-spotting and self-correction, so you don't so much teach it as create a setting in which it can teach itself. If you want an AI to walk, you provide a set of constraints -- gravity exists, bodies are made of connected parts, the ground pushes back when you push on it -- and give it a challenge, like moving a certain distance. Then you step back and let it learn, and often marvel at the results. A recent paper entitled "The Surprising Creativity of Digital Evolution," published by a conglomerate of European and North American researchers, is packed with technically correct AI-devised solutions to the locomotion problem that are also, by any traditional measure, wrong.


More Americans own an Amazon Echo. Get the most from it with these 'Alexa' tips and tricks

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

One in 5 Americans surveyed say they own an Amazon Echo smart speaker (from $39), supported by new data published by Trading Platforms, a leading education and comparison platform for online traders. This is consistent with Edison Research and NPR's Smart Audio Report findings. Google Nest is its next closest competitor with roughly 8 percent of the U.S. market share, according to Trading Platforms. Considering how many of us are confined to our homes because of COVID-19, we may be using these devices more, too. "Before the pandemic, most people used their smart speakers for getting the weather and listening to music. But over the past year, they've become our meditation guides and yoga teachers, our homework helpers and bedtime story readers, the way we discover new recipes and local takeout spots – and so much more," says Katherine Prescott, Founder and Editor of VoiceBrew, which distributes an email newsletter devoted to smart speakers, Monday through Thursday.


Best smart speaker in 2021

ZDNet

Smart speakers have become a staple of nearly every home. Being able to give a quick voice command to control lights or the thermostat is all too convenient. They also make for handy gadgets to answer trivia questions or to stream music without fussing with your phone. They have evolved over the years, and instead of coming in basic designs and one size, there's now a wide offering of speakers that interact with Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple's Siri. Honestly, if you're looking to buy one, it can quickly get confusing trying to figure out which is the best for you.


Amazon wants you to have an erotic relationship with Alexa

ZDNet

She dreams of getting intimate with Alexa. While you're nibbling your tortilla chips on Sunday, Amazon will be wanting you to expand your nibbling possibilities. That's the only thing one can conclude from the company's latest attempt to create intimacy between you and its intrusive artificial intelligence. The company has just released its Super Bowl ad that so bathes in steaminess that some might find it unseemly. Why, it even includes the line: "Things are getting way too wet around here."


Smart displays are stealing the show from smart speakers

ZDNet

Resembling a sawed-off section of stovepipe in black or PVC in white, the original Amazon Echo was the anti-smartphone. It operated tethered to an outlet, it was communal. And it was pre-pandemically touch-free if you didn't care about muting its microphone. Unbound by a display, it inspired voice-driven variants that ranged in size from tiny rings to giant rigs. We've hand-picked 11 smart displays that will satisfy a range of wants and needs.


Google's new Guest Mode for smart speakers is a privacy must

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Google is giving users a new way to take charge over their privacy when using its smart speakers and displays. The new security feature, known as Guest Mode, keeps your personal data confidential while still allowing others to get the most out of Google Assistant--and it's already available on your Google smart speaker. Guest Mode is a new privacy feature for Google smart speakers that, when enabled, doesn't store assistant activity and audio recordings, or provide personalized results. The new feature, announced on Jan. 13, is ready for use on Google speakers and displays like the Google Nest Mini and Nest Hub Max. To turn it on, say, "Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode."


How I used open source to extend Apple's Home automation to more devices

ZDNet

I have to admit it: I backed the wrong horse when it came to driving home automation from a digital assistant and went with Microsoft's Cortana and its Harmon Kardon Invoke smart speakers. I had good enough reason: I trusted Microsoft's privacy commitments a lot more than either Amazon's or Google's, and Apple's Home relied on the too-expensive HomePod smart speakers. Sure, I had a couple of Amazon Echoes and a Google Nest Mini to try out those ecosystems, but their over-reliance on in-cloud voice recognition was that bit too much on the creepy side. Still, I could happily control my Hue lights from Cortana, though support for my Netatmo thermostats and Ikea Tradfri lights had to be through maker tools like IFTTT and workflow automation with webhook APIs like Power Automate or Zapier. But then Microsoft refocused Cortana on its commercial customers and announced that its Invoke Cortana integrations were due to be turned off early in 2021.


Listen up: Amazon's high-end Echo Studio smart speaker is on sale for $30 off

Mashable

Amazon's Echo Studio high-fidelity smart speaker is on sale for only $169.99 as of Jan. 12 -- that's a 15% savings. Up until a few years ago, audio quality always took a backseat to the "smart" part of smart speakers. You didn't buy such a device because you wanted to feel like you were lounging amongst the quaint woodsiness of Long Pond Studio while listening to folklore; you bought it because you wanted a friendly AI to check the weather and order more toilet paper for you. For Amazon's popular Echo lineup, that all changed with 2019's introduction of the Echo Studio, an Alexa-enabled smart speaker geared toward audiophiles. Not only does it support Dolby Atmos for clear, immersive audio, but much like other high-end speakers made by brands like Sonos and Apple, it comes with a "3D sound" feature that automatically adjusts its output based on the acoustics of a room.