Category Archives: Smart Speaker

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Apple’s HomePod is marking up furniture, and the internet isn’t happy

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The HomePod is finally here, and we love it. But after spending a few days with Apple’s smart speaker, some users have discovered an unexpected side effect. 

WireCutter‘s review, published Wednesday, praised the HomePod’s audio quality, but the reviewers were in for a surprise when they lifted the speaker up. They found that the speaker left a distinct white ring on the countertop and side table where it had been sitting. 

SEE ALSO: Here’s what we think about Apple’s HomePod Read more…

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The best smart speakers according to Amazon reviewers

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re searching for a new smart speaker, the market is flooded with options. Whether you’re looking to spend your time listening to music outside, or you’re in search for the perfect indoor music solution, or both, there are hundreds of smart speakers for you to choose from.

For something entry-level with enough sound to fill a small room, perhaps DOSS, an Amazon bestseller priced at $29, is a good choice. If you prefer something more high-end that fills your entire home with premium sound, consider the Multiroom Audio System bundle at $349. Read more…

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Repairing HomePod costs nearly as much as the damn thing itself

Did you just pick up Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker? Better pray it doesn’t break, because it’s expensive AF to repair it.

Apple’s published service and repair details for HomePod on its website and — holy sh*t — it’ll cost HomePod owners a whopping $280 to repair or replace the dang thing if they don’t have AppleCare+.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Apple’s HomePod

For those who are paying attention, that’s nearly as much as the HomePod speaker itself, which costs $350.

Like all Apple products, whatever damage your HomePod sustains might be covered under the included warranty. But if it’s not, you gotta fork over the money to get it fixed. And if you’re going to do that, you might as well just buy a new one.  Read more…

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Facebook to reportedly release an Echo Show competitor with facial recognition

Facebook wants you to video chat on its platform, so it’s taking on Amazon, Google, and Apple with hardware of its own. 

The company will release Portal later this year, Cheddar learned in an exclusive report. It will be something like Amazon’s Echo Show, a voice-controlled smart speaker with a screen.

Reports about the video chat device came out last year, but more details — like the name “Portal” — have now been revealed. It looks like a speaker patent discovered last year is part of the Portal project.

SEE ALSO: Facebook’s new facial recognition efforts help blind users know exactly who’s in photos Read more…

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Roku might be making its own smart speaker

There could be yet another smart speaker to choose from.

The popular streaming device maker Roku may be building its own competitor to the Amazon Echo. Roku already has some voice-command tech, and some publicly available information suggests its leveraging it to branch out into new projects with advanced audio features. 

SEE ALSO: Roku rolls out its own TV channel, pitting it against the very apps that call its box home

First noticed by Variety, Roku has listed open positions that are specific to tying audio with software. For example, Sr. Software Engineer, New Products, Audio (Expert) requires candidates with experience taking “new hardware platforms from prototype to mass production.” Other listings were for applicants with experience with “voice user interface design.” Read more…

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Xiaomi has a smart speaker too, and it’s crazy cheap

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It’s pretty much becoming mandatory for a major tech company to have its own smart speaker, with the current lineup including Amazon Echo (and its siblings) and Google Home, as well as Microsoft Invoke and Apple HomePod (which have been announced but aren’t out yet).

You can now add to that list the Xiaomi Mi AI, which has one big advantage over all of them: It’s a lot cheaper.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi and Nokia’s new multi-year deal could bring AR and VR tech to all

Announced by Xiaomi on Wednesday, the Mi AI offers six-microphone 360-degree audio sensing, stereo sound, and the ability to tap into third-party services and stream music, take calls, remind you of important events etc.  Read more…

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How Facebook might take on the Amazon Echo

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It’s official, nearly every major tech company wants to put a listening device in your home—or as they call it, a smart speaker. The latest? Facebook.  

SEE ALSO: Amazon’s Echo Show has video streaming feature that plays Jimmy Fallon, CNN, CNBC, and more

That’s the chatter coming from Asia, where much of Silicon Valley’s hardware is manufactured, via a report from Taiwan-based DigiTimes on Tuesday. Citing a source in contact with the “upstream supply chain,” the site claims that Facebook is preparing to release it’s own smart home speaker that will also include a 15-inch touchscreen display.  Read more…

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Smart speaker calls 911 during domestic dispute, police rescue woman and daughter

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It can be a nuisance when a smart home device such as Google Home or Amazon Echo is inadvertently invoked. But it can also be a lifesaver.

ABC News reported on Friday that a violent altercation between a man and his girlfriend was stopped after a smart home device called 911. 

SEE ALSO: Samsung plans to launch smart speaker powered by Bixby, report says

According to the report, Eduardo Barros got into a fight with his girlfriend last Sunday at a residence in Tijeras, New Mexico. He was allegedly armed with a firearm, physically attacked her and threatened to kill her. 

At one point during the altercation Barros asked “did you call the sheriffs,” which an unidentified smart home device, connected to the home stereo, understood as a prompt to call 911.  Read more…

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Samsung plans to launch smart speaker powered by Bixby, report says

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Despite having troubles with its voice-powered smart assistant Bixby, Samsung plans to launch a standalone smart speaker powered by the same technology, akin to Amazon Echo and Google Home. 

The news comes via a report by The Wall Street Journal, which cites sources familiar with the matter. 

SEE ALSO: Samsung Bixby is promising, but Siri has nothing to worry about (for now)

According to the report, such a device (codenamed “Vega”) has been in the works for over a year, and it’s still not certain when it will come out. 

There are no details about the device, and the report says that its features and specifications may change before the launch.  Read more…

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