voice control

Volvo cars will take voice commands from the Microsoft Band 2

Volvo cars will take voice commands from the Microsoft Band 2

Volvo has announced that starting this spring, Microsoft Band 2 owners will be able to use the wearable to control their vehicle with just their voice. No, you won't be able to tell your new XC90 to swing around the block and pick you up, but you will be able to remotely unlock the doors, turn on the heater, set navigation, honk the horn, and flash the headlights.

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Nuance Mix brings voice control to any app, Internet of Things device

Nuance Mix brings voice control to any app, Internet of Things device

Nuance, the software company behind the Dragon dictation app, has announced a new platform dubbed Nuance Mix, which will allow developers to add language detection and voice control to their own apps, in addition to smart home and Internet of Things (IoT)-connected devices. In terms of our smartphones, Nuance Mix, which is launching today as a beta, could bring voice control to a number of third-party apps, making it available beyond platform-specific tasks like placing a call, searching for directions, or dictating a message.

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Cortana for iPhone debuts for Microsoft’s beta testers

Cortana for iPhone debuts for Microsoft’s beta testers

It was less than a month ago that Microsoft put out the request for those interested in beta testing Cortana for iPhone, and now those lucky enough to be selected are getting notified to download the voice-powered digital assistant. While designed to compete with Apple's own Siri, as well as Google Now, Microsoft's Cortana will be fairly limited on the iPhone in terms of capability, at least compared to the native Windows version.

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Amazon Echo to be sold at over 3,000 US retail stores

Amazon Echo to be sold at over 3,000 US retail stores

With Black Friday quickly approaching in the US, and thus the onslaught of the holiday shopping season, Amazon has just announced that its Echo, the internet-connected speaker and digital assistant, is making a formal move from the online marketplace to the physical retail environment. Amazon says that in the near future over 3,000 stores will begin selling the Echo, including Home Depot, Staples, Sears, BJ’s, P.C. Richard & Son, Brookstone, RadioShack, and Fred Meyer locations.

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Siri answers music chart questions, but only for Apple Music subscribers

Siri answers music chart questions, but only for Apple Music subscribers

With Apple's release of iOS 9 earlier this year, Siri was given the ability to answer and take action on more requests from users, such showing photos from a specific time and place, or search through email content. However, iOS users this week have discovered one thing that the virtual assistant won't answer unless a condition is met: questions about top songs from past or present music charts.

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AAA study finds hands-free smartphone features still distract drivers

AAA study finds hands-free smartphone features still distract drivers

Google, Apple, and Microsoft have worked hard to implement hands-free features when it comes to safely using their smartphones while behind the wheel, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road. While these settings are certainly better than physically holding and interacting with a phone while driving, it turns out they're not quite as safe as we all thought. A new study from the University of Utah and AAA (American Automobile Association) has found that voice commands can still be very distracting.

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Chrome stops listening as “OK Google” trigger removed

Chrome stops listening as “OK Google” trigger removed

Cry out "OK Google!" as much as you like: your Chrome browser on the desktop is no longer listening. Google has released a new version of its web browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and in addition to a number of security fixes and other tweaks, the big difference is a deleted feature rather than an added one.

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Pebble watches brings Nuance Voice Recognition to the public

Pebble watches brings Nuance Voice Recognition to the public

This week Pebble has brought Nuance Voice Recognition to Pebble Time, Time Steel, and Time Round users. Nuance is powering Pebble's new Dictation API, allowing developers to create voice-friendly apps of all sorts for all of the 2nd-gen Pebble users in the wild. Pebble apps will be able to work with voice recognition and push all manner of commands to apps that do many fine things, like control your smart house and flying your drones around the countryside.

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Nucleus brings intercoms, video calling to the smart home

Nucleus brings intercoms, video calling to the smart home

Nucleus (the name of both the company and the product) is a new device that aims to combine the best of video calling and home intercoms with voice commands. The mini tablet can be mounted to wall or just placed on a counter or table, and be used to connect and communicate with others in just seconds, bypassing even the steps that FaceTime and Skype users must go through before getting into a call.

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Try this: Google app now supports offline Voice Commands

Try this: Google app now supports offline Voice Commands

Perhaps in preparation for full smart home utilization, Google has begun allowing offline voice commands on Android devices. This feature is only available for Android smartphones and tablets using the official Google (search) app, and commands are relatively limited. This feature will appear when a user has the Google app open without internet connectivity, showing a number of commands available offline. Lucky you, one intrepid Android user happened to be speaking to his device while it wasn't connected to the web.

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Amazon Echo update reads news headlines so you don’t have to

Amazon Echo update reads news headlines so you don’t have to

Amazon has just released a software update for its internet-connected, voice assistant-powered Echo speaker that brings several new options to the list of voice commands it can follow. Probably the most impressive is the ability for it to read news headlines when asked, but the update also includes improved controls for smart home set ups, along with in-depth settings for alarms and timers. The new software version is available now to Echo users.

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Amazon Fire TV looks set to get Echo’s Alexa

Amazon Fire TV looks set to get Echo’s Alexa

Amazon looks set to add Alexa voice control to its Fire TV set-top box, inviting over the digital assistant from Echo to read audiobooks and even do shopping. Although Amazon is yet to announce any such integration, signs of the upcoming functionality were spotted in the Fire OS 5 developer preview by AFTVnews.

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