Google Assistant

NVIDIA SPOT hands-on: this is SHIELD’s smart home

NVIDIA SPOT hands-on: this is SHIELD’s smart home

NVIDIA SHIELD has suddenly begun to look like a smart home master this week at CES 2017, adding Google Assistant and SmartThings to take the IoT in one swift stroke. For new users, all that's needed is the NVIDIA SHIELD TV device - it includes a standard TV remote and a gaming remote, both of which have microphones to accept voice commands. NVIDIA SPOT also has a microphone as well as a speaker, acting as an extension of the smart home functionality of NVIDIA SHIELD with Google Assistant and SmartThings connectivity.

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Google Assistant coming soon to an Android TV near you

Google Assistant coming soon to an Android TV near you

When Google first revealed its new take on the smart, personal, virtual assistant, we were skeptical about the Google Assistant’s immediate chances, given how limited its availability and reach were. Those fears, however, may have been unfounded, as Google moved quickly to fill in the gaps. Its latest venture? To put Google Assistant on your personal big screen. Yes, Google Assistant is coming to TVs, but only if you have a recent Android TV box or TV. Good thing, then, that there are lots of those to go around at CES 2017.

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NVIDIA SHIELD TV refresh boasts 4K streaming, Google Assistant

NVIDIA SHIELD TV refresh boasts 4K streaming, Google Assistant

NVIDIA has just revealed its next-generation SHIELD TV at CES 2017, and it arrives offering a number of improvements over its predecessor. Not only has the aesthetic design been overhauled, but the new SHIELD is capable of streaming content in HDR at 4K resolution. Users will be able to stream 4K video from a variety of services, including YouTube, Amazon Video, Netflix, and Google Play.

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Hyundai will soon follow voice commands via Google Home

Hyundai will soon follow voice commands via Google Home

It may sound a bit ironic but soon Google Home will also be able to control things outside your home in the near future. Granted, your parked Hyundai car will most likely still be on your property anyway. Always at the front lines of integrating Google’s new technologies, Hyundai will be demonstrating at CES 2017 how it plans to link their cars to your living room via Google Assistant in Google Home. In a nutshell, this means that you (or anyone else), will soon be able to remotely lock or start the car on (voice) command.

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Amazon Alexa now gets your follow-up questions

Amazon Alexa now gets your follow-up questions

As smart as smart assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa try to be, they seem to have problems with their short term memory. Ask them a question and they'll answer promptly. But ask them immediately about something related to that answer and they seem to have forgotten about it entirely. Unless they asked you first, that is. Google, however, has had the ability to take into account the context of these follow-up queries, and now Amazon has silently given Alexa that skill in the latest update to its Echo devices.

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Google Home, Assistant now work with some Sony speakers, TVs

Google Home, Assistant now work with some Sony speakers, TVs

Google Home might be a smart speaker but, by itself, it isn’t exactly going to rock your house in terms of audio quality or even volume. And don’t even think about playing video directly on it. For those use cases, you’ll need dedicated audio and video equipment to make the best out of the experience. And what better way to do that than with equipment powered by Google’s technology as well. Sony has just announced that, thanks to a firmware upgrade, a number of its “Chromecast built-in” speakers and 4K HDR Android TVs now integrate with Google Home and, consequently, Google Assistant.

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Google Home Netflix, Photos support appears for some users

Google Home Netflix, Photos support appears for some users

When Amazon Echo first launched, very few knew what to make of the canister smart speaker of the future. Eventually, however, it bloomed and soon became the buzzword of smart home hubs. That same pattern might be repeated with the Google Home, which is only now starting to become rather interesting. Although it hasn’t been officially acknowledged yet, some Google Home owners have reported that they’re starting to see Netflix and Google Photos in a new Videos and Photos section for Google Assistant.

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Google Home Actions let users talk to third-party services

Google Home Actions let users talk to third-party services

Google Home might be a bit behind something like the Amazon Echo, but there is still a chance that it could overtake it. Depending on how much and how quickly third-party apps and services flock to Google’s smart speaker. That entails that Google Home has a platform for third-party developers to hook into. Fortunately, for both users and developers, Google has one, “Actions on Google”, and is now calling on developers to start building actions to get the conversation flowing.

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Chrome OS getting Wake on Voice, Google Assistant predicted

Chrome OS getting Wake on Voice, Google Assistant predicted

After a brief period of hype brought about by official Android apps support, it seems that discussions around Chrome OS and Chromebooks have once again been reduced to murmurs. Things, however, might pick up again if the speculation presented by Chrome Unboxed turns comes to pass. Some code sleuthing revealed that at least one upcoming Chromebook could get an always-listening “OK Google” feature, just like on smartphones. But more than just the feature itself, it is hinted that it could be paving the way for the arrival of Google Assistant on Chrome OS.

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Galaxy S8 confirmed to feature Samsung’s own smart assistant

Galaxy S8 confirmed to feature Samsung’s own smart assistant

Confirming what most have already guessed at this point, Samsung shared that its next flagship, which will undoubtedly be called the Galaxy S8, will have an AI-powered digital assistant, but significantly different from Samsung’s obsolete and underpowered S Voice. This new assistant will be the fruit of Samsung’s acquisition of Viv Labs, which was formed by the a co-creator of Apple’s Siri. But while that’s pretty much a given, the biggest question is how Samsung plans on differentiating itself from the increasingly competitive market.

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4 things to know before you buy Google Home

4 things to know before you buy Google Home

The Google Assistant has escaped, and it's haunting your house. No longer is it trapped in your phone or your browser: instead, the power of Google's so-called Knowledge Graph now gets a new enclosure, the vase-esque Google Home. Like Amazon's Echo, it reacts to voice rather than touchscreen or buttons, and like Amazon's assistant Alexa, it promises to streamline your day and entertain your evenings with its personalized knowledge of your tastes and interests. Sounds great, right? Turns out, there are a few things you ought to bear in mind before you bring Home home.

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Living with Google Home

Living with Google Home

The Google Assistant has been bundled into the browser, added into Android, and squeezed into Android Wear: now, it's getting a sleek object d'art for the smart home. Google Home is the search giant's take on the smart speaker space, a direct challenge to everyone's current favorite virtual PA, Amazon's Alexa. At $129, Google Home undercuts Echo (though not Echo Dot) and, if your digital life is already in Google's cloud, it promises a more streamlined way to consume that data around the home.

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