voice control

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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“Ok Google” added to always-listening Chromebooks

“Ok Google” added to always-listening Chromebooks

Google has quietly added "Ok Google" support to its bleeding-edge Chromebooks, giving the web-centric notebooks the ability to listen out for voice commands with nary a button press, just as on Android phones and Android Wear smartwatches. The feature, part of the latest developer build available optionally through the Chrome OS Dev Channel, has to be manually enabled, but once active - and after a little voice training - the Chromebook will automatically open up a new search page whenever you say "Ok Google" and the screen is on.

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Google Now supports Nest via voice commands

Google Now supports Nest via voice commands

Over the weekend, we relayed some info about Nest’s new functionality with Google Now. The ability to change your temperature via voice control sounded pretty neat, but also a long way off. It wasn’t, and is now ready for all Nest users. With a simple “Ok, google” voice command, you can now change your home temperature to whatever you like. Not only will you be able to change the temperature, but Google Now will provide a card that tells you when Nest is changing things up.

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Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

Voice-controlling Nest thermostat via Google Now almost ready

It didn't take long after Google's purchase of Nest, the makers of the internet-connected thermostat and smoke alarm, for expectations to begin of how the home devices would begin to fit into Google's various apps and services. In June, a "Works with Nest" program was launched, and it was then teased that in the future we would be able to set a temperature with the command "Ok, Google…" via the Google Now app. Now it looks like the service is almost ready.

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Here’s why Intel makes perfect sense for Google Glass v2

Here’s why Intel makes perfect sense for Google Glass v2

Guess what: Google Glass isn’t dead. The news that Intel will probably be found inside the next generation of Glass wasn’t so much a surprise for its “x86 vs ARM” narrative, but that Google was not only still committed to the wearable project but actively developing it. Although unconfirmed, as the whispers would have it, Intel’s silicon will oust the aging TI cellphone processor found in the current iteration of Glass, quite the coup for a chipmaker still struggling to make a dent in mobile. The switch is about more than just running Glass’ Android fork, however: it could mean a fundamental and hugely beneficial evolution in how Glass operates and how it addresses some of the current shortcomings in battery life and dependence on the cloud.

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