smart home

Amazon Dash Wand is a barcode scanner you can speak into

Amazon Dash Wand is a barcode scanner you can speak into

How many ways can you take an idea and turn it into different things? If you’re Amazon and you’re talking about Echo and Alexa, it might be a near limitless list. Even if the idea ends up being slightly laughable. After the Amazon Echo Look comes the Amazon Dash Wand. Don’t worry, you don’t actually wave it around to make magic. You don’t even hold it that way. Instead, you use it to scan barcodes or speak into it to ask Alexa anything, like converting from different units of measure.

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Google Home gets two, like, hip ads and, like, a price cut

Google Home gets two, like, hip ads and, like, a price cut

With Apple finally and formally taking the gloves off in the smart home speaker fight, Amazon and Google have no choice but to pick up the pace. So far, the Amazon Echo and Google Home have been marketed mostly at tech savvy adults. Google’s new ads for the Home, however, position it as something young and hip users will also appreciate. Like, you know, Apple’s biggest demographic.

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Bixby speaker rumors spark even as voice remains absent in US

Bixby speaker rumors spark even as voice remains absent in US

As expected, Apple has just jumped on the smart speaker arena that Google, Amazon, and, soon, Microsoft already occupy. And as expected, this has started rumors that Apple’s biggest frenemy will also be joining the fray. Samsung is now believed to be aiming for a piece of that pie, with patents pointing to potential smart speaker powered by Bixby no less.

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Wink Bright kit, new services secure homes in a wink

Wink Bright kit, new services secure homes in a wink

There are dozens upon dozens of connected products in the market these days, all promising to make your homes smarter or more secure. From smart speakers to smart doorbells to smart lights, it can be an overwhelming task to choose which product to start with, let alone actually get started. To help ease consumers into this new IoT frontier, Wink is making available a new Bright “starter kit” and two new security services that help you set up a secure smart home without batting an eyelash.

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Siri Speaker up close: this is Apple HomePod

Siri Speaker up close: this is Apple HomePod

This morning Apple revealed the HomePod, their first "home speaker" - or Siri Speaker, if you prefer. This device has the same processor as the most modern iPhone, no display, and a much more powerful set of speakers than an iPhone. It needs to be plugged in to a physical wall socket and it's able to do a litany of tasks if you ask it - through Siri, of course. Today we're having a closer look at Apple official.

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Apple HomePod speaker release date and details

Apple HomePod speaker release date and details

The Apple Home Speaker is what Tim Cook suggested would be Apple's attempt to "reinvent home music." This device, says Apple, is in line with the legacy of the iPod, and reinventing personal mobile music. Phil Schiller stepped on stage and detailed the speaker top to bottom as a piece of equipment that had not existed before - "Why hasn't this happened yet?"

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Google Home crosses over to Canada, in French too

Google Home crosses over to Canada, in French too

At its recent I/O developers conference, Google made an even bigger push for AI and machine learning, which takes form in its Google Assistant. It also pushed the Assistant-powered Google Home front and center of its connected ecosystem. Now it’s pushing Google Home to its third official country. Following the arrival of Android Pay, Canadians will soon be able to officially get their hands on a Google Home. And even better, they’ll be able to converse with Assistant in English or French.

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Forgetful? Now Alexa can juggle your crazy reminder list

Forgetful? Now Alexa can juggle your crazy reminder list

Amazon's Alexa can now remind users of specific tasks, with the ability to set not only an alarm but assign a reason for it too. The latest in Alexa's growing skillset on the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap, it opens the door to far more useful reminders than simple alarms. Both reminders and timers are supported by the update.

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Apple’s Siri speaker to be an audiophile-pleasing smart home hub

Apple’s Siri speaker to be an audiophile-pleasing smart home hub

Apple's Siri speaker may well show itself at WWDC 2017, the company's annual developer conference, next week, it's reported, though it won't ship until later in the year. The device, which will take on Amazon Echo and Google Home, will give Siri a physical embodiment within the home. However, it'll also take on other tasks to help distinguish itself in the increasingly crowded smart speaker market.

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Elgato Eve Degree Review: A simple temperature & humidity HomeKit sensor

Elgato Eve Degree Review: A simple temperature & humidity HomeKit sensor

Apple's HomeKit may have had a quiet start, but third-party accessories for an iOS smart home are gradually picking up pace. Latest to store shelves is Elgato's Eve Degree, a compact temperature, humidity, and air pressure sensor, wrapped up in a simple and handsome design, and promising to be the smart trigger your connected home has been asking for.

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Amazon Alexa iCloud Calendar support gives Echo your schedule

Amazon Alexa iCloud Calendar support gives Echo your schedule

Amazon's Alexa now supports iCloud Calendar, allowing the virtual assistant to check your schedule on the Apple service. The update means that users of the Amazon Echo - as well as the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap - can get an instant read-out of what's on their agenda for the day, by asking "Alexa, what's on my calendar today?" There's also support for adding new appointments, again all by voice.

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Qualcomm’s smart router plan puts mesh, IoT, and Alexa-style agents in one

Qualcomm’s smart router plan puts mesh, IoT, and Alexa-style agents in one

Routers may not be sexy but they can definitely be ambitious, with Qualcomm looking to replace your Echo, router, and smart home bridges with a single unit. The company unveiled its Mesh Networking Platform and Reference Design at Computex 2017 this week, an all-in-one that combines mesh networking, self-healing and -organizing configuration, voice agents like Alexa and Google Assistant, and all the radios to talk to your connected lights, locks, speakers, and more, in a single box.

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