smart home

Apple HomePod release date revealed at long last

Apple HomePod release date revealed at long last

After being spotted at the FCC last week, we thought that Apple might be close to launching its HomePod smart speaker. As it turns out, those suspicions were right, with Apple finally announcing a release date today. Originally scheduled to launch before the end of 2017, Apple delayed the HomePod at the last minute, pushing it back into 2018 and missing the ever-so-crucial holiday shopping season.

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Apple HomePod can recognize multiple voices, mute Siri

Apple HomePod can recognize multiple voices, mute Siri

Siri may have been the one that truly kicked of the smart assistant trend, but it has fallen by the wayside in terms of capabilities and especially devices. Like smart speakers, for example. That will soon be changing as we draw even closer to the long overdue launch of Apple’s HomePod speakers. Which means the trickle of leaks is, slowly but very surely, growing into a gushing stream. The latest to come out is some functionality that other leaders in the smart assistant only recently got hold of as well: the ability to recognize more than just one voice.

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Baidu reveals a different smart speaker strategy with Raven H and DuerOS

Baidu reveals a different smart speaker strategy with Raven H and DuerOS

Like just about every big tech company these days, Chinese web giant Baidu is getting in on the smart speaker game. But the company is doing things noticeably different from Amazon or Google, despite selling its new Raven H speaker device. Instead the key product is the assistant software itself, the DuerOS AI platform, and Baidu's goal is to have it used in hardware from other manufacturers.

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Apple HomePod gets FCC approval, expected to launch soon

Apple HomePod gets FCC approval, expected to launch soon

For those waiting to get their hands on Apple's upcoming HomePod, the wait appears to soon be over. The Siri-powered smart speaker was delayed from its original release last fall to sometime in "early 2018," but the device was recently granted approval by the FCC for sale in the US. There's still no solid launch date, however, but the approval means the HomePod could soon be challenging the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers for users' living rooms.

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Best Smart Speakers of 2018: the Pros and the Cons

Best Smart Speakers of 2018: the Pros and the Cons

At CES 2018, the usual circus of new products, experimental devices, and moonshot projects seem to have a common undertone: AI assistants. At almost every turn, you’ll find something, be it a “smart display”, a TV, a car head unit, or a door lock that integrates with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or even Microsoft Cortana. The age of the personal AI assistants have come, and it all started with the somewhat unassuming and still really bewildering smart speakers. We take a brief look at some of the best ones in the market, and some still to come, and why, despite their appeal, they might not exactly be worth your money just yet.

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Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 puts AI in your mouth

Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 puts AI in your mouth

AI is everywhere but, in almost all cases, they are located outside or at least on your body. Smart speakers are left inside rooms and smartwatches stay on your wrist. But a new smart device that’s available exclusively in Apple Stores applies AI inside your body. Don’t worry, it’s not invasive, at least not in the “skin-piercing” sense. This new Colgate smart toothbrush uses a bit of artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing to analyze your mouth and your brushing method and tell you how to brush your teeth better.

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Amazon Echo Spot available now in the UK

Amazon Echo Spot available now in the UK

The battle of the AI assistants and their devices is on. At CES 2018, a large portion of consumer electronics revolved around or, at the very least, supported the likes of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Sometimes even both. As the competition, not to mention the nastiness, between the two heats up, so do the expansion to global markets. Hot on the heels of CES, Amazon is finally making available in the UK one of its latest, and oddest, products, the Echo Spot.

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Anker Zolo Model Zero Google Assistant speaker has an odd design

Anker Zolo Model Zero Google Assistant speaker has an odd design

If you thought Anker was done flooding CES with all sorts of devices, whether they were directly related to its core charging business, better think again. It still has one last hurrah to give and it’s a head-turner. Its ZOLO smart audio brand has announced a new smart speaker with a very unique design that you’ll want to show off in your home. Inside the Zolo Model Zero, however, lies not just power but also intelligence, thanks to Google Assistant at your bekc and call.

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TiVo Alexa and Google Assistant integration is on the way

TiVo Alexa and Google Assistant integration is on the way

TiVo sees the smart home revolution and it wants to be a part of it. Today the company announced that it will soon offer integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, two AI assistants that are quickly becoming the centerpiece of many smart home systems. When these enhancements arrive, TiVo envisions the potential to watch your content in a way you haven't yet before.

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August Access battles Amazon Key for in-home delivery

August Access battles Amazon Key for in-home delivery

Back at the end of October, Amazon revealed a new service called Key. With Amazon Key, you can schedule in-home delivery using a specific smart lock offered as part of the service, thereby preventing your packages from being stolen while they wait on your front porch. A service like Amazon Key has been suggested and even rumored for almost as long as smart locks have been a thing, so it should come as no surprise that we're seeing competitors spring up before Amazon Key really gets off the ground.

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Milo smart speaker doubles as home hub, Google Assistant inside

Milo smart speaker doubles as home hub, Google Assistant inside

CES is usually a time for big announcements but, this year, there is a somewhat silent undercurrent happening. An army is silently growing, made up of smart speakers that integrate this or that AI assistant. But, smart as they are, they are often just another device you have to add to your network. Startup Hogar Controls thinks it has the solution. Meet Milo, a smart speaker that almost looks like any other smart speaker, except for one invisible talent. It can also double as the central hub for your smart home instead of being just another node in the network.

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Google Assistant displays, Android Auto, speakers headline CES 2018

Google Assistant displays, Android Auto, speakers headline CES 2018

CES isn’t usually Google’s time to grab the spotlight but this year, it’s making its presence felt in a rather new way. No, there’s no new Google product or device being announced. Instead, there are dozens of new ones. Confused? You probably will be once you take a load of all the new speakers, headphones, smart displays, and in-car audio systems debuting at CES 2018. Despite hailing from different brands and coming in different forms, they all have one thing in common. They all have Google Assistant inside.

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