Internet of Things

Alexa just made another button on your remote control useless

Alexa just made another button on your remote control useless

Amazon's Alexa is adding another talent to help keep your remote control gathering dust, with a new Wake-on-LAN controller able to rouse TVs and other devices from low power mode. The new update addresses one of the lingering annoyances for those trying to use voice assistants with their home electronics, where gadgets in frugal standby modes aren't listening out for a wireless wake-up.

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Mercedes reveals the 5G robot-filled factory for its most high-tech cars

Mercedes reveals the 5G robot-filled factory for its most high-tech cars

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the high-tech production line on which key models like the first EQ electric car, the new S-Class, and its autonomous cars will be built, and it could be more advanced than the vehicles themselves. Dubbed Factory 56, the new plant in Sindelfingen, Germany is about as far away from the traditional vision of manufacturing - or building cars in a tent - as you can imagine.

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The Amazon smart microwave is an Alexa Trojan horse

The Amazon smart microwave is an Alexa Trojan horse

Kitchen conversations usually consist of "what time is dinner ready?" and "it's your turn to load the dishwasher," but Amazon's Alexa-powered microwave hopes to change all that. It's easy to joke at the idea of a voice-controlled appliance, certainly one which counts proactively reordering popcorn among its key talents, but the AmazonBasics Microwave is more important than you might think. For $60, it's Amazon's cunning Trojan horse for Alexa.

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AmazonBasics Microwave Review: Alexa gets cooking

AmazonBasics Microwave Review: Alexa gets cooking

"Why are you talking to the microwave?" Being the spouse of an early-adopter has never been especially easy, but the arrival of the smart home - and voice-controlled systems like Amazon Alexa in particular - has certainly magnified the potential for confusion. How, then, to explain why the AmazonBasics Microwave powered by Alexa is really for your tech-tired partner's benefit, not yours?

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Google Assistant adds broadcast replies, alarm routines, more

Google Assistant adds broadcast replies, alarm routines, more

The Google Assistant is getting an upgrade, with new features for smart displays like the Google Home Hub, along with better use of Routines and more flexible broadcasts. The updated talents will be rolled out to Google's smart speakers, smart displays, and Assistant on phones over the next couple of weeks, starting from today.

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Amazon Black Friday 2018 deals include free Echo and Fire TV gear

Amazon Black Friday 2018 deals include free Echo and Fire TV gear

Joining Best Buy and select other retailers is Amazon with its own early Black Friday sales. The company has posted its deals on its website, where customers can get Echo, Kindle, and other Amazon devices at big discounts. As well, Amazon's device sale includes bundles with IoT gear, including connected lightbulbs and cameras.

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This Lenovo Smart Display deal is a half-price surprise

This Lenovo Smart Display deal is a half-price surprise

Black Friday isn't quite here, but the deals are already showing up, and if you're in the market for a Lenovo Smart Display then you're in luck. The Google Assistant powered smart display launched back in May, but the 8-inch model is already seeing a better than half price discount as part of one pre-Black Friday sale.

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Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer adds Apple HomeKit support

Wemo WiFi Smart Dimmer adds Apple HomeKit support

Wemo's WiFi Smart Dimmer light switch is gaining Apple HomeKit support, with a new update bypassing the need for a hub to integrate with Apple's smart home system. Launched back in 2017, the WiFi Smart Dimmer is intended to replace a traditional light switch in the wall, and thus enable remote-control access to the light that it operates.

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Facebook Portal on sale now: But should you buy one?

Facebook Portal on sale now: But should you buy one?

Facebook's Portal and Portal+ smart displays are on sale, but the big "should I buy one?" question is about more than just the technology on offer. The social network raised more than a few eyebrows when it announced the two video calling-focused smart displays earlier this year, while still in the shadow of a data privacy controversy.

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Alexa for PC brings Amazon AI to Windows 10

Alexa for PC brings Amazon AI to Windows 10

Amazon has released Alexa for PC, bringing its smart assistant to Windows 10 and turning your notebook or desktop computer into a smart speaker. The free app brings features familiar from Amazon's Echo line-up to Microsoft's platform, including smart home control.

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Samsung puts voice at the heart of the Smart Home

Samsung puts voice at the heart of the Smart Home

Samsung's smart TVs are gaining more voice control, with new partnerships with streaming services like Netflix and Spotify that won't need you to pick up the remote. Announced at SDC 2018, Samsung's annual Developer Conference, the new Voice Media Control API will allow apps and services to enable speech controls more easily.

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Samsung opens Bixby to developers in scalable AI platform play

Samsung opens Bixby to developers in scalable AI platform play

Samsung isn't done with Bixby. The virtual assistant may not have reached the usefulness of Alexa or the Google Assistant, or the consumer awareness of Siri, but Samsung is betting that embracing third-party developers and expanding Bixby's availability will make the difference in the long-term.

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