voice control

Amazon Echo is finally becoming your shopping assistant

Amazon Echo is finally becoming your shopping assistant

Back when Amazon launched its Echo, a digital personal assistant squeezed inside a cylindrical speaker, the obvious question was "why can't I shop?" Now, roughly six months into its slowly-staged roll out, Echo is finally getting the ability to do voice-controlled shopping, with a new firmware update pushed out today adding support for re-ordering items you've previously purchased, all using nothing more than spoken commands.

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Jibo robot snags new Sensory cloud-free speech control

Jibo robot snags new Sensory cloud-free speech control

Home robot companion Jibo may be able to recognize natural speech but it won't demand a web connection to do it, the first 'bot to feature a new offline engine that cuts the cord. Jibo, announced last year and expected to ship in 2016, may look like a kitchen appliance brought to life, but thanks to Sensory's new TrulyNatural system will be able to perpetually listen and react to a broad range of voice commands without requiring a connection to the cloud as most speech-recognition does.

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Comcast introduces voice-controlled remote for subscribers

Comcast introduces voice-controlled remote for subscribers

Long gone are the days when you had to get up out of the chair to manually change the volume or the television channel, and if Comcast has its way, we’ll one day consider having to manually press buttons on the television remote as equally archaic. The company has introduced a new voice-enabled remote that leverages Texas Instruments’ RF technology to, according to Comcast, usher in what could end up being “the tipping point in a major revolution” for its subscribers.

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“OK Google” lets you Shazam or TuneIn using only your voice

“OK Google” lets you Shazam or TuneIn using only your voice

Google is really it's Google Search muscles on mobile of late. The tech giant has endowed its Android app with new powers, like showing apps related to your searches even if they aren't installed yet, or sending directions from your desktop browser to your phone, and even adding 70 new Google Now cards for your use and enjoyment. Now for even more fun, Google's voice actions have also been powered up to let you jump right into apps without having to open them up first and navigate through the functions.

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Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

The recent privacy scandal that Samsung's Smart TVs have brought the issue of privacy and security with such voice-controlled features into the spotlight. But if you thought that Samsung was alone in this behavior, you'd be dead wrong. Perhaps it isn't common knowledge yet that smart assistants like Siri, Google Now, or even Cortana do keep your commands for some time for the purpose of improving services. But the duration of that storage as well as its reach is probably not so known. Until now.

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Nope, Samsung doesn’t actually encrypt Smart TV voice data

Nope, Samsung doesn’t actually encrypt Smart TV voice data

If Samsung thinks it's already safe from the latest Smart TV scandal, it better put its PR team into action again. The company publicly stated that its Smart TVs were not eavesdropping on users and that it follows security best practices when transmitting voice queries, and only voice queries, to a third-party company for processing. Apparently, for the Korean consumer electronics giant, such "best practices" don't actually include encryption, leaving owners' voice commands, or practically anything they say to the TV, open for hackers to hear.

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Your Samsung SmartTV isn’t spying on you

Your Samsung SmartTV isn’t spying on you

Over the weekend a scary article was written about Samsung SmartTV sets that suggested they were listening to your every word. That these TV sets were collecting information about you - that was the news - that they were taking down everything you said in your living room, sharing that information with 3rd-party systems. This information comes from Samsung's privacy policy, and one single sentence that seems to be a "smoking gun" that lets everyone know how evil Samsung is. Be sure you read the rest of the paragraph before you have a heart attack.

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Hush, your Samsung Smart TV might be eavesdropping

Hush, your Samsung Smart TV might be eavesdropping

Smart TVs are smart, no doubt about that, but their smartness might come at a price. A review of Samsung's privacy policy, which, like many other such policies, are dense and full of legal gibberish, reveals that the Koeran manufacturer's intelligent entertainment displays transmit even spoken words to a third party. This means that everything you say to that fancy voice control feature is fair game to Samsung, that still unnamed third party, and potential hackers, whether you're telling the TV to switch channels or accidentally revealing details about certain undesirable family members.

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Amazon Echo now lets you control music streaming using voice

Amazon Echo now lets you control music streaming using voice

Amazon's own smart assistant, if you can call her/it that, just got smarter. Alexa now lets you control music streaming via Pandora, iTunes, and Spotify using only the power of your own voice, a feature previously limited to the mobile apps. And that's not the only skills Amazon Echo has learned. She/it has also increased her treasure trove of Wikipedia knowledge and now even knows how to play a game of "Simon Says." All thanks to the latest update that Amazon is now pushing to its cloud-powered smart cylinder.

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