Items tagged with google home

There's no question that Amazon is the dominate player in the smart speaker realm, and that is even more readily apparent by the latest sales data coming from Canalys. The analytics firm monitored smart speaker shipments during Q3 2019 and found that the market exploded by 44.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year. At the top of the heap, as usual, was Amazon with 10.4 million Echo smart speakers shipped during the quarter. This represents a 65.9 percent annual growth rate for Amazon, giving it an overall 36.6 percent share of the smart speaker market. Canalys attributes much of Amazon's strength during the quarter to the release of the affordable, display-equipped Echo Show 5. The... Read more...
It's bad enough we have to worry about sharks with frickin' laser beams attached, but now we have to be vigilant against the threat lasers present to smart home speakers and other devices with digital assistants. How so? Security researchers at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo and at the University of Michigan warn that relatively cheap laser points can be modded to inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice assistants. This method of hacking affects all of the popular voice assistants, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Facebook Portal. "The implications of injecting unauthorized voice commands vary in severity based on the type of commands that... Read more...
Google has made a lot of inroads with its "Home" family of Google Assistant-powered smart speakers that include the Home, Home Mini, and Home Max. However, in recent months, some users have been left with non-functioning devices due to faulty firmware upgrades. After a failed firmware update, the affected devices will seemingly reboot normally, yet show all four LEDs lit up. Once this happens, the device is no longer responsive and will not answer to any voice commands. However, according to Android Police, some users were able to get their Homes to break free of this failsafe mode by powering cycling the device.  In addition, some users have been able to factory reset their devices... Read more...
Smart speaker owners beware—attackers have found a clever way of exploiting devices offered by Amazon and Google to both listen in on your conversations and dupe you into forking over private information, such as your account password, credit card details, and other details that should be kept close to the vest. What makes this possible are flaws that allow third-party app developers to leverage Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices in malicious ways. This is not an entirely new scheme, but while Amazon and Google have patched similar security flaws in the past, new ones keep popping up. Security Research Labs (SRLabs) notes that one such vulnerability consists of adding a long audio pause... Read more...
Google Assistant-powered devices like the Google Home have increased in popularity over the past few years and have grown to be competitive sales wise with the Amazon Echo family in the smart speaker realm. Today, Google is looking to further the appeal of its Google Home and Nest Hub devices with the introduction of a new feature called stream transfer. When people purchase their first smart home device, it’s often hard to stop at just one. Google knows this, and stream transfer is meant to help users manage media content as they move throughout rooms in their home. Using just your voice, you can all upon the Google Assistant to transfer music from the Google Home in your bonus room, for... Read more...
A shocking report by a news agency in Belgium claims that contractors paid by Google to transcribe audio recordings uploaded by Google Home smart speakers have also been able to hear private conversations that should have never been recorded in the first place. The recordings run the gamut from bedroom conversations to professional phone calls containing private information. We already know that Google thrives on data collection. That is how the company is able to tailor its services to users, including obviously its search engine, but also its AI assistant. In a related FAQ, Google explains that it "collects data that's meant to make our services faster, smarter, and more relevant, and more... Read more...
In an apparent effort to stay competitive in the smart speaker war, Apple today clipped $50 off the price of its HomePod, bringing the cost down from $349 to now $299. The new price applies to both the White and Space Gray models. For those who are interested, the $50 savings negates the cost of adding an AppleCare+ warranty, which is an additional $39 charge. Apple is not exactly known for slashing prices on its products without a new model being announced. It's possible that a HomePod 2 is on the horizon, but more likely, Apple is trying to bolster sales and be more competitive in an increasingly crowded field, albeit one that is dominated by Amazon and Google (in that order). Up to this point,... Read more...
Home smart devices have increasingly become multifunctional and serve consumers through screens, cameras, stereos, and virtual assistants. Google already offers a range of home devices, but its next device appears to follow this multi-use trend. Google accidentally revealed an upcoming product called the Nest Hub Max on its own website. The device will boast a 10-inch screen and improve upon a number of existing features from popular products. Image from Android Police Although the listing has since been taken down, we were able to learn a few things about the Nest Hub Max. The device will include a 10-inch smart display, built-in Nest cameras, and stereo speakers. Users will also be able to... Read more...
If you have a Google Assistant-backed Smart Display, but have been envious of the Continued Conversation feature available to standalone Google Home speakers, your moment in the sun has arrived. Google announced today that the handy feature is rolling out today to the Google Home Hub and other devices like the Lenovo Smart Display. For those not in the know, Continued Conversation mode allows you to make an initial request, then keep hitting your AI assistant with follow-up questions without repeatedly having to say “OK, Google” for a set period of time. This not only allows for a more conversational and less robotic interactions with a device like the Google Home... Read more...
No one thought that it would be easy to take on Amazon in the smart speaker market; after all, the company got the jump on the competition with its first Echo in late 2014. However, if any company stood a chance against Amazon, it was Google, and the newest numbers from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) show that to be somewhat true. According to CIRP's analysis of the U.S. market, there was a total installed base of 66 million smart speakers during Q4 2018. Of that total, Amazon accounted for a commanding 70 percent of installs with its Echo family of smart speakers according to the research firm.  The Google Home family of smart speakers was... Read more...
Christmas movie fans will undoubtedly know the classic flick Home Alone starring Macaulay Culkin. Google has teamed up with Culkin to reprise his role as Kevin McAllister in modern times. Google calls the new holiday film it cooked up "Home Alone Again with Google Assistant." The video has Kevin doing many of the same things he did 28 years ago when his parents forgot him at home and went away on a trip. The catch this time is that Kevin has a Google Home packing the Google Assistant to help him spend his days alone. Kevin has the assistant make him a shopping list for the aftershave that gave the flick its iconic hands on cheeks screaming kid poster. Kevin also has a custom routine to keep the... Read more...
Google has rolled out some new features for Google Home devices and Lenovo Smart Displays, some of which were announced back during I/O 2018. The new features include Pretty Please, Assistant notes and lists integration, Broadcast Replies, and visual lyrics for the Home Hub. Pretty Please is designed to help encourage good manners, which is a big deal for parents with kids. The way Pretty Please works is by encouraging you to say "please" and "thank you" in your commands. When Google Assistant hears commands with good manners, it will say "delightful responses" and "Thanks for asking so nicely." Since Google Assistant is a faceless bit of tech, using good manners when talking with it is easy... Read more...
Rumor has it that the new Google Home Hub may have a few security vulnerabilities. A hacker recently demonstrated that a Google Home Hub could potentially be forced to reveal information about its owner, but Google has now refuted this claim and contends that user information is not at risk. Security researcher Jerry Gamblin noticed that his own Google Home Hub appeared to be using several open ports. He used the command prompt on his computer to reboot his device, disable notifications, erase various settings, and delete the Google Home Hub WiFi network. Gamblin was not able to access user information, but he is concerned that those are the implications of his recent discovery. Google quickly... Read more...
NVIDIA's "do everything" SHIELD TV is an incredibly potent media streamer + gaming platform, and it already features native support for the Google Assistant. However, the current implementation of voice control with the Google Assistant leaves a lot to be desired and is quite limited in its capabilities. NVIDIA is rectifying this issue with a new update that provides "deeper integration" with Google Home devices currently on your network. You can simply call out to your Google Home and tell it to specifically play a movie or a TV show on your SHIELD. For example, you can say "OK Google, open Sling TV on SHIELD" or "Hey Google, set volume to 90% on SHIELD". As you might expect, you can... Read more...
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