In the battle to become our smart assistant of choice, Amazon's Alexa is currently losing out in one key area: mobile. Apple's iPhones have Siri, and Android phones have the Google Assistant, but with the failure of the Fire phone, Alexa isn't the convenient choice on any smartphone. According to a report in the Financial Times, Amazon plans to address this issue by launching a pair of 'smart glasses' that can interact with Alexa. Read More
There are a lot of shopping list apps out there, and that's an understatement. Back in the early days of app development, shopping lists were one of the most popular simple projects, and even now people learning the ropes typically toss one together. But Out of Milk has stood the test of time for the last seven years. And now managing your shopping list is getting just a bit more convenient via the new Out of Milk voice assistant, which works with both Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant. Read More
What do you get when you mix South Park's brand of seething humor, Cartman's childish behavior, and a slew of Google Homes and Amazon Echos? An episode full of big hairy balls and smelly tampon boogers being added to shopping lists, Simon says sentences about stinky poops, many more over the top juvenile jokes, all mixed with some social commentary on the loss of jobs due to automated assistants. Read More
There is no shortage of Alexa-powered smart speakers at this point. Even though the first third-party Google Assistant smart speakers were the stars of IFA in Berlin this past week (at least as far as audio products go), Amazon hasn't been resting on its laurels. A few more Alexa speakers were revealed at the event, including ones from big-name companies like DTS and Harman (parent company of JBL). Read More
Amazon's Alexa assistant already has a massive number of 'skills' - third-party add-ons that can extend the functionality of Alexa. For example, you can use the Domino's skill to order pizza with just your voice, or the BBC News one to hear recent world events. But now, Amazon is encouraging developers to create skills aimed at children under the age of 13. Read More
Robots are cool and, when designed and executed properly, robots can be quite endearing and awesome. But at $2800 a pop with very little added benefits, this one is definitely straddling the line to absurd territory.
Announced at IFA by QIHAN Technology (apparently a company specialized in AI and robotics), the Sanbot Nano is a 2.7 feet tall (848mm) robot that tries hard to look like a little kid. It has rotating head and arms, and is decked with sensors (IR, PIR, obstacle detection, touch sensor), 7 microphones, 250 lights, 2 tweeters and a subwoofer, a 3D camera, and a 10.1" touchscreen display. Read More
Smart appliances are pretty neat, when they're not being used as a botnet to take down the internet. To make matters worse, you usually have to use another app to control everything. But starting later this year, LG's smart home appliances will start working with Google Assistant and Alexa. Read More
Some companies see competition in the same field as an adversary that needs to be eliminated in the most cutthroat way, and others see it as a potential for synergistic growth. That latter approach seems to be the philosophy Microsoft and Amazon are taking when it comes to voice assistants. The two companies have just announced that their two brainchildren will be able to talk to each other by the end of the year.
Well, not exactly talk, talk, because that would be creepy if Alexa and Cortana started chit-chatting together without any human input (although at the rate we're going, that doesn't seem to be too far a possibility), but they will be able to call upon each other when asked nicely. Read More