BRAND NEW AMAZON ECHO DEVICES

Announced only today, Amazon have released 3 new Alexa Family Devices. Bringing new colour options for the original Echo (released October 31st) , a new sized speaker the Echo Plus (released October 31st) , with wood and fabric option finishes; and finally the Echo Spot, a small round Echo alarm clock with a 2.5 inch display (released December 19th). This brings the Echo Family to 7 stand alone devices.  None of the Echo devices ship directly to Australia YET, we expect that to change once the Amazon Warehouse in Australia opens the end of this year, but the new devices ARE cheaper.

And as a first to the market, they have introduced the Echo Button. This is a button that sits ALONGSIDE your pre-purchased Echo Device, this Button as a physical response to Alexa, with the ability to add more than one to each device it has opened up opportunities for games and activities, either by yourself, or with family and friends. 

This new release brings many asking what are Amazon going to get rid off, or saying there is TOO MANY OPTIONS, but it was an expected move for Amazon, being the first company to release a voice enabled smart assistant for the home and home hub, and creating the market. To now, having almost every big tech (and little) company designing their own version, to give so many options for this technology will ensure they stay above the trend.

SOURCES

No Love For Australian Market

Nest has confirmed that the new nest range wont hit our shores as of yet.

Nest have only JUST launched in Australia, despite having a large success in the States already. So far we have access to the Nest Cam and Nest Protect.

But as they just launched SIX new connected home and safety gadgets, that we were very excited to see (two of those news products were leaked before the launch).  Even though reports have Nest saying that they are aware there is already an established fan base in Australia, They have no plans yet to give us certified access to their latest product line, but you can check out the release video and wait.

We still have yet to figure out why all the major home automation companies are releasing to Australia so late compared to the rest of the world. Nest is a subsidiary of Google parent company, Alphabet, so maybe they are just following trend with Google Home.

New Speakers Supported By Google

Google home is Securely in the Australian market now, but what consumers were suprised to learn is there is now FIVE secondary companies that are creating and/or building a smart speaker that will be built on Google Assistant.

While Google have been building and enhancing Google Assistant for Google Home and Google Mobile Devices, they are also allowing brands like Anker, Mobvoi, Panasonic, Sony and JBL.

More stories will be published once more information is readily available on those speakers.

August Home Releasing More Products

One of the most globally well-known Smart-Locks currently on the market, August Home, is now playing catch up with some lesser known brands. Early reports are claiming the company are releasing two new products to keep up with the ever-growing “Smart Tech Market”.

The first of two products are a Reboot of the August Video Doorbell, Like the of the RING doorbell readily available on Australian Shelves Already.

The second is the company defining Smart Lock which now works with Apple, Google and Amazon Smart Assistants and is $279 AUD, but is currently based only in the US, so shipping will be extra.

The rumoured products appear to be a more refined design (we hope slimmer than the current depth of the lock) with less bells and whistles, to cut down product cost. It appears they are aiming for a broader cost market.

But as this is unconfirmed at this stage, the grapevine also has the opposite floating around. That August Home plan to release a higher end lock and doorbell.

What both rumours confirm however, is we expect to see the new products drop in the coming few months.

Sonos has joined the smart speaker market

Sonos have jumped on board the market, and have Apple Home-pod in their sights.

Sonos already have made a household name for itself with wireless speakers, but now they will make voice controlled speaker allegedly be powered by Amazon’s Alexa. Early details coming out the speaker will have 360 – degree directional speaker capabilities. Further rumours also suggest that the device may feature more than one voice assistant.  We believe more will be known after the Sonos announcement scheduled for New York 4/10…

so Thursday morning our time 🙂

If you think your internet is slow lately, YOU’RE RIGHT

Yes, Its true all Australians will be experiencing slow speeds until an estimated time of mid-october.

Internet users have been warned to expect a “serious slowdown”, as a number of undersea cables connecting Australia’s internet connection from Sydney to Hong Kong was damaged due to two typhoons.  The main damage has occured 54 kilometres off the coast of Hong Kong.  Internet service providers iiNet and Internode claim they have redirected the current connection via the US.

The redirection is likely to cause slower page loading times and latency and pack loss problems.

Here’s to hoping we be effected too much.

Is a smaller Google Home in the near future?

Thought Google Home was a little on the bulky side? its ok, Google thought so too

Its still early for confirmed reports, but initial reports are pointing towards google releasing a miniature google home. Akin to competition’s Echo and Echo Dot, Google seem to be planning for a smaller unit of the Home, to be hopefully unveiled in the next few months.

Lets hope Australia won’t have to wait so long this time.

Amazon Australia opening sooner than we think?

Many reports coming in saying Amazon could launch its Australian operations in the next 60 days, perhaps even as early next month, according to Citi, Retail Analyst Brian Raymond.

Which is prime time for Australian shopping markets as the count down till Christmas starts. giving them enough time to sort out the kinks before the Christmas rush.

“Buying terms have been set and first orders have been placed with suppliers in recent weeks,” Mr Raymond said.

Get ready for even easier online shopping.

Microsoft’s Speech Recognition on par with a human

Microsoft researchers have hit a milestone 25 year in the making. Their speech recognition used for many Microsoft products including assistant Cortana has finally reached an error rate of only 5.1 percent, putting it on par with the accuracy of professional human TRANSCRIBERS for the first time ever. About a year ago, the Microsoft team refined its system to reach a 5.9 percent word error rate. Which was generally considered to be the average human error rate, but further work by other researchers suggested that 5.1 percent was closer to the mark for humans professionally transcribing speech heard in a conversation.

SOURCES

Do you have a spare $300aud for a new Micro SD Card?

Thats right, you read that right. Sandisk have brought out a new Ultra MicroSDXC worth 300 BIG ONES

Mind you it does have an impressive 400gb.

Check it the release video below from sandisk