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Friday, February 17, 2017

One Bot To Rule Them All? Not Likely, With Apple, Google, Amazon And Microsoft Virtual Assistants

In order for a virtual helpmate to run your life, it needs to engage with the providers of all the services you rely on, from your calendar app to your Uber ride. Those providers must either partner with the company operating the assistant, or design their app to integrate with the assistant. So Spotify will stream music upon request via Alexa, and Honeywell's smart-home thermostat, via Assistant, will bump up the temperature 15 minutes before Grandma's expected arrival.

For ...read more

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Smart Home Gadgets Need To Live Together

Smart home technology that has long been knocking at doors will settle into the mainstream after rival gadgets and services become hassle-free guests that get along with one another, industry insiders say.

While smart home offerings have been around for years, attention has been heightened by Google, Amazon and Apple maneuvering to be at the heart of managing devices capable of wirelessly taking commands or feeding information.

From the article "Smart Home Gadgets Need T ...read more

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Watch, Meet Smartwatch: Fossil And Misfit Think They're A Perfect Match

Harry Wang, director of mobile and health products research at Dallas-based Parks Associates, said the digital fitness tracker is the fastest-growing category in the connected health device market, and Fitbit is the clear leader, with a more than 50 percent market share. There will be demand for various types of fitness trackers. Some older people, for example, may want a wearable just for measuring walking distances and steps.

Wang said he believes that smartwatches will so ...read more

Friday, October 02, 2015

Amazon pulling Chromecast and Apple TV from shelves

Apple TV will have a version of the App Store that has been a hit on iPhones.

By letting media companies keep control of their content in apps, Apple could find new money-making models while sidestepping worries studios might have about distribution rights.
Amazon also makes a gaming version of its Fire TV box.

According to the research firm Parks Associates: Roku leads the US market with a 37 percent market share, to 19 percent for Google Chromecast and 17 percent for ...read more

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Plucky Roku updates streaming gadgets in battle with big boys

Sometimes the company is a pioneer, such as when it added a headphone jack to its remote so users could listen to shows or music without disturbing others in their home. Other times, as with voice search, which previously was available on Amazon's Fire TV box, and with Roku's Chromecast-like streaming stick, it's been a quick follower.

"Roku is one of the few players in the space that this is all they do," said Barbara Kraus, an analyst who covers the streaming media player ...read more

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bluetooth may be the key to your future smart home

That ubiquity means consumers can control Bluetooth-based smart home devices directly with their phones or tablets, rather than having to go through a so-called bridge. In order to interact with non-Bluetooth home automation devices, users typically need a gadget that can translate between them. That bridge, or hub, makes ZigBee and Z-Wave devices more expensive and complicated than Bluetooth products, analysts say.

Thanks in part to such issues, only about 16 percent of U.S ...read more

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

After initial flop, Google will try again to launch Android TV

Barbara Kraus, market research director at Parks Associates, said about a third of U.S. households with broadband Internet have smart TVs, a percentage expected to double by 2018.

From the article "After initial flop, Google will try again to launch Android TV."

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