Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Smart speakers are now the fastest-growing consumer technology

Krales  The Verge Krales The Verge
Guillermo Lane | 05 January, 2018, 12:04

Hisense's Alexa-enabled TVs will be revealed at the CES technology show, which kicks off in Las Vegas on January 9.

Meanwhile, Google and Apple could try to push their own assistants beyond the smartphone, where they play more of a supporting role.

Amazon's investment in June Oven will see the company add Alexa commands to its connected ovens as soon as support is available.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) found that Amazon Prime members spend 27% more than average, and Amazon Echo owners spend 66% more than average. This past holiday shopping season saw both Amazon and Google fight over market share by cutting the price on their low-end smart speaker.

"The move by Amazon, which right now does very little advertising on the Echo, could mean big things for consumer companies that are fretting their influence on a voice-powered shopping experience", CNBC claimed in their report, adding that, "With Alexa's clout anticipated to rise, brands are anxious about being left out of the voice-shopping platform entirely". That means manufacturers can begin building the commands into their products. Hisense adds: "Alexa will also enable users to connect to other smart home products so that they can control the lights, turn off the air conditioner, operate other IoT devices that work with Alexa and more". Google's answer is reportedly coming this year, with deep YouTube and Google Photos integration.

Multi-vehicle crash shuts down New York Thruway near Buffalo
According to a tweet from the Lancaster Office of Emergency Management, there are 75 vehicles involved in the crash. A multi-vehicle crash has shut down the eastbound Thruway near the Depew exit just east of Transit Road.


Both companies cut prices for the smallest version of their speakers, the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini, to as little as $29 from $50 for the U.S. holidays.

However, smart speakers aren't the only device luring consumers to interact with them.

Could Alexa be the next big thing in 2018?

On Thursday, the company announced "cooking capabilities" are now part of its Smart Home Skill API. Expect something similar from Google Assistant, which at the moment only supports voice transactions for physical goods and services. One factor hastening the use of QR code coupons is increased native support among mobile operating systems, Juniper Research found. Apple's iOS, for example, added native support for QR codes to its iPhone camera app previous year, making usage a little bit easier for consumers.

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