Smart Speaker

Echo Dot Kids Edition gets an upgrade: Louder Alexa, smarter skills

Echo Dot Kids Edition gets an upgrade: Louder Alexa, smarter skills

Amazon has given its Echo Dot Kids Edition an update, with the child-friendly version of Alexa now louder and more colorful. The new smart speaker is based on the third-generation Echo Dot, doing away with the interchangeable bumpers of the previous Kids Edition model and replacing them with fixed fabric covers.

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The Samsung Galaxy Home smart speaker is now expected in Q3 2019

The Samsung Galaxy Home smart speaker is now expected in Q3 2019

Samsung isn't giving up on its Bixby-powered smart speaker, with the company insisting that the Galaxy Home is still going to launch - albeit a little later than initially intended. The eye-catching speaker - which has been variously compared to an Alien egg, kettledrum, and a fancy essential oils vaporizer, among other things - was first previewed all the way back in August 2018.

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What’s next for Google Assistant: AI for everyone

What’s next for Google Assistant: AI for everyone

Google Assistant turns three this year. Whether you love it or not, it’s the AI for everyone. Google’s intelligent little helper has been powering almost every other smartphone for the past few years, getting better and smarter each day. Despite its dominance on mobile devices, Google shows no signs of slowing down. Aggressive marketing, widespread device integration and new innovations show where Google is placing its eggs.

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Samsung Galaxy Home Mini could beat its big brother to release

Samsung Galaxy Home Mini could beat its big brother to release

It's been quite some time since Samsung first revealed the Galaxy Home, its Bixby-powered smart speaker. That happened way back in August, and we still haven't been given a release date for it yet. Despite all of that, Samsung is already looking toward the future of the Galaxy Home brand. As it turns out, the company may be plotting a smaller Galaxy Home that's meant to better compete with budget speakers from Google and Amazon.

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Comcast activity monitor may let Grandma stay safe at home

Comcast activity monitor may let Grandma stay safe at home

It would appear that Comcast wants to monetize your health. Word this afternoon is that Comcast is working on a smart home device not unlike that of the Amazon Echo and/or Google Home. Smart home speaker is the name of the game, and Comcast is aiming at making cash via hospitals. If they can keep you out of the emergency room, surely they deserve compensation for your health - and the health of your grandmother?

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Bose Home Speaker 300 revealed as smart speakers add Google Assistant

Bose Home Speaker 300 revealed as smart speakers add Google Assistant

Bose smart speakers are getting a Google Assistant upgrade today, with the company's connected models adding Google's helpful AI, though you may want to wait until the summer for the newest Bose hardware. The update is being released today for existing Bose models, including both standalone smart speakers and the company's range of connected soundbars too.

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Sonos Google Assistant is here: What you need to know

Sonos Google Assistant is here: What you need to know

Sonos' Google Assistant support is finally launching today, joining Alexa on the smart speakers. It's been a long time coming, too, Sonos electing to miss its original 2018 release in favor of spending more time making sure its two voice assistants would happily co-exist on the same hardware. Now, courtesy of a free software update, we can see how that works for ourselves.

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Amazon Alexa reportedly has no option to stop recording commands

Amazon Alexa reportedly has no option to stop recording commands

Smart speakers and their cousins smart displays and smart thermostats are the new darlings of the consumer tech market. The convenience and sometimes entertainment provided by these products and services seem to outweigh privacy concerns in users' minds. Many simply accept that companies need them to improve their service and presume said companies will protect their privacy. That's not always the case and, thanks to a series of reports from various news sources, Amazon's Alexa might come out as the worst offender.

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This LIDAR smart speaker imagines Alexa with eyes

This LIDAR smart speaker imagines Alexa with eyes

LIDAR may be best known right now for helping power autonomous cars (and infuriating Elon Musk), but the same technology could improve how we interact with smart speakers, a team of Intel-backed researchers suggest. SurfaceSight speculates on the potential for more useful IoT devices when they understand what's around them, including object and hand recognition.

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Amazon is preparing Alexa Spanish support in the US

Amazon is preparing Alexa Spanish support in the US

One of the biggest consideration and sometimes limitation of voice assistants is that they are, by nature, intricately tied to the spoken language. While many people do speak English and many of its variants, not everyone does. And even some of those that do only consider English to be a second and sometimes unnatural language. That is why support for other languages have been slow to roll out and it will only be later this year that Amazon Alexa will be able to start speaking Spanish in the US.

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Qualcomm QCS400 SoCs to power the next wave of smart speakers

Qualcomm QCS400 SoCs to power the next wave of smart speakers

Qualcomm may be best known for its smartphone processors but those are hardly its only silicon product. There is, for example, its LTE chips that is part of the legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple. And while Snapdragon chips haven't become as common in IoT as they are in mobile, Qualcomm is making a move to target a fast-growing segment of that connected home market. With the new QCS400 System-on-Chip (SoC) series, Qualcomm is making sure that its be the household name in the next generation of smart speakers that will be invading households in the years to come.

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Android Things to become an OEM platform for smart speakers, smart displays

Android Things to become an OEM platform for smart speakers, smart displays

Google has had quite a few Android-related experiments, but not all are as widely-used as Android for phones or even Wear OS, formerly Android Wear, are. Although Google is not ready to abandon them yet, it sometimes "refocuses" on what they're all about. Case in point is Android Things, which is essentially Android for the Internet of Things. While it will still touch a bit on that market, Google is now turning the platform into a playground for OEMs, specifically those making smart speakers and smart displays.

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