IoT

Alexa Home Theatre System brings Fire TV audio to Echo speakers

Alexa Home Theatre System brings Fire TV audio to Echo speakers

Amazon has rolled out a new feature it calls 'Alexa Home Theatre System' that enables its home entertainment customers to play audio from a Fire TV through an Echo smart speaker. The feature has launched with support for select Fire TV and Echo models at this time, including for some of the older units. Multiple configurations can be used ranging from a 1.0 to 2.1 setup.

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I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

Black Friday is coming but the holiday shopping season isn't waiting for its traditional kick-off, though while tech deals may be everywhere you look, there are some gadgets I won't be putting into my cart. Smart speakers and, more recently, smart displays have become a go-to gift for many over the past few years, but in 2019 they may not be quite so warmly received.

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August View video doorbell back up for sale after beleaguered launch

August View video doorbell back up for sale after beleaguered launch

It's been a strange year for the August View video doorbell. It launched early on in the year, at the beginning of April, but then a few weeks later August decided to halt sales of the device and start issuing refunds. At the time, the company blamed "performance challenges" in some environments, saying that it would have the doorbell back on sale once it smoothed out the issues.

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Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant hacked with laser in major security flaw

Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant hacked with laser in major security flaw

Ever since smart speakers started hitting shelves, there's been no lack of people bringing up certain security concerns, whether those have to do with flaws in hardware and software or just general privacy issues. Today, a team of researchers are detailing a new vulnerability that exists in many smart speakers - along with some phones and tablets - that could potentially allow hackers to issue voice commands from far away.

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Nest Wifi Review – Mesh network with a side of Google Assistant

Nest Wifi Review – Mesh network with a side of Google Assistant

Google's Nest Wifi arrives as mesh networking is firmly embedding itself in the mainstream. Three years ago, Google Wifi surfed into homes at the bleeding edge of mesh, promising whole-home coverage with multiple interconnected routers filling in any dead spots. Now, Nest Wifi promises the same, only with fewer units and the addition of Google Assistant smart speaker functionality.

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Toyota uses connected car windshield wiper data to improve weather forecasts

Toyota uses connected car windshield wiper data to improve weather forecasts

Toyota has announced a new partnership with Weathernews that'll involve its connected cars, specifically their windshield wiper data. By using this information and pairing it with existing weather data, Toyota aims to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and help improve safety for drivers. The test is being conducted in Aichi, Tokyo, and Osaka.

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Google’s smart displays and speakers grab SiriusXM with Assistant control

Google’s smart displays and speakers grab SiriusXM with Assistant control

Following its launch on Android TV earlier this year, SiriusXM announced today that it's picking up Google Assistant support as well. So, if you've got something like a Google Nest smart speaker or a smart display, you'll soon be able to access SiriusXM content using voice commands. With SiriusXM already compatible with Alexa, this move to include Google Assistant was really only a matter of time.

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Alexa gets new sunrise and sleep lighting features in the US

Alexa gets new sunrise and sleep lighting features in the US

Amazon is rolling out new features for Alexa, ones that involve connected lighting systems with support for its personal assistant. The two big new features are Sleep Lighting Time and Wake-up Lights, both intended to improve the sleeping experience by automating lighting both at night and in the morning. Joining these two features are a couple of new Routines, as well.

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Samsung SmartThings is getting offline Rules support

Samsung SmartThings is getting offline Rules support

Samsung is hoping to give SmartThings, its connected home platform, a boost, adding new rules support and coaxing device-makers into adding compatibility. Announced at the Samsung Developer Conference 2019 today, the company's annual developer event, SmartThings' new Rules API promises to better link together multiple devices acting on a single command or trigger.

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The 2020 VW Golf 8 could make smart cars mass-market

The 2020 VW Golf 8 could make smart cars mass-market

Volkswagen's Golf may have given many drivers their first taste of the open road, but the 2020 VW Golf 8th Generation could well do the same for car-to-car communications. Unveiled earlier this week, the Golf 8 debuts plenty of new technology for Volkswagen, including a number of new hybrid models. However, it's the Car2X system that might have the biggest impact.

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Google Home update bug is bricking some smart speakers [Update]

Google Home update bug is bricking some smart speakers [Update]

Some Googe Home users are reporting issues with a recent software update that has bricked some smart speakers. According to impacted device owners, the update results in perpetually illuminated LED lights on the updated Google Home or Google Home Mini speaker, something they aren't able to fix by factory resetting the device. Google has acknowledged the issue, but it appears that users who aren't covered by warranty may be out of luck.

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Spotify’s Google Home Mini promo is back: Here’s what you should know

Spotify’s Google Home Mini promo is back: Here’s what you should know

Around this time last year, Spotify decided to run a promotion in which it handed out Google Home Mini speakers to Premium Family subscribers. That promotion is back this year, but this time around, Spotify is expanding eligibility. Not only are Family plan subscribers eligible to receive a Google Home Mini, but those on individual Premium accounts are eligible as well.

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