Technology Amazon's next Echo will be more like Apple's HomePod

09:25  13 july  2017
09:25  13 july  2017 Source:   Engadget

Samsung may join the smart speaker fray

  Samsung may join the smart speaker fray <p>Samsung may be working on a smart speaker of its own.</p>Samsung is developing a smart speaker powered by its Bixby voice assistant, reported The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The speaker, code-named Vega, has been in the works for more than a year, according to the Journal's sources, but many features and specifications are still being decided. There's no timing yet for the device's release, said the report.

Amazon is also softening its design with rounded edges and a cloth- like covering, rather than the current Echo ' s plastic shell and flat ends. Apple ' s HomePod is also significantly smaller, and it packs in plenty of new technology that the Echo doesn't.

Read More (WWDC) in June 2017, Apple HomePod is expected to offer features a lot like those found on both Amazon Echo and Google Home. However, there’ s one area where Apple appears to have gone in a different direction: sound.

  Amazon's next Echo will be more like Apple's HomePod © Provided by Engadget It's been over two years since Amazon debuted the Echo, which kickstarted the current wave of voice-controlled, virtual assistant-powered speakers. And while the company has added more devices to the Echo family, with the tiny Dot, portable Tap and screen-toting Show, it hasn't touched the original model (aside from a white coat of paint for the UK). That's going to change later this year. Amazon is working on a new Echo that will improve on the first speaker in practically every way, a source tells Engadget. And, not surprisingly, it's aiming to take some of the hype away from Apple's HomePod.

Samsung won't unwrap its Siri rival in US anytime soon

  Samsung won't unwrap its Siri rival in US anytime soon Samsung tells the Korea Herald that the English-language version of its Bixby digital assistant is facing more delays.The consumer electronics giant told the Korea Herald on Tuesday that the English version of its digital assistant will be delayed -- again -- because it lacks enough big data to teach it to work properly. Bixby was supposed to launch in April before it was pushed back to "later this spring" and then to June.

Apple on Monday announced the HomePod , its long-anticipated answer to Amazon ’ s Echo and Google’ s Home. (No word yet on its next -order music knowledge, like whether early Pink Floyd was truly superior to the post-Syd Barrett era.)

You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more . Amazon will turn its Echo into a USELESS pod?

The new Echo will be both shorter and slimmer than the original, almost as if it were three or four Echo Dots stacked on top of each other, our source claims. Amazon is also softening its design with rounded edges and a cloth-like covering, rather than the current Echo's plastic shell and flat ends. And yes, it should sound better, too. The company is packing in several tweeters this time around, instead of just relying on one large tweeter and a woofer (for low end). The HomePod, in comparison, features seven tweeters, which is big reason why it sounded better than the Sonos Play:3 and the Echo in our brief demo.

Amazon is also improving the new Echo's microphone technology, though it's unclear how it's doing so. The current model features an array of seven far-field mics, while the HomePod has six and Google Home has two. Amazon might be able to make improvements to the software and acoustic modeling — that's how Google's speaker manages to pick up your commands with far fewer mics. But given that Amazon helped to pioneer the use of far-field microphones in a home speaker, I wouldn't be surprised if it managed to cram in some new hardware innovations. A smart speaker is only useful if it can accurately hear you, after all.

Amazon Rolls Out Alexa Notifications Feature In Time For Prime Day

  Amazon Rolls Out Alexa Notifications Feature In Time For Prime Day Alexa can now alert you when your Amazon package is on its way. Amazon’s notification feature on Alexa is now running, which means you’ll be able to get notifications if you have the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show or a compatible Alexa-enabled device.You can opt-in for what features you want Alexa to notify you about, but as of now Alexa can only tell you about packages are out for delivery, according to Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick News.

Does Apple ’ s HomePod have enough advanced features to compete against Amazon Echo and Google Home? Apple ' s HomePod : Everything we know so far about this new smart Siri speaker. More for you to like

Amazon Alexa vs. Google Home vs. Apple HomePod . Is there an Echo in here? The most speaker-looking of the bunch, the HomePod , comes covered in either a black or white mesh. It looks a bit like the Home, but without the slanted top.

  Amazon's next Echo will be more like Apple's HomePod © AOL As influential as the original Echo has been, it's not aging gracefully against smaller, sleeker and cheaper competition like Google Home. Even as an Echo devotee myself, I'm not a fan of its large, cylindrical footprint. Apple's HomePod is also significantly smaller, and it packs in plenty of new technology that the Echo doesn't. At this point, it's clear that you can design a solid speaker that doesn't take up a significant amount of room.

We still don't know what the new Echo will cost yet, but it would be nice to see Amazon drop the price closer towards the $130 Google Home (which is now on sale for $99). The company could conceivably stick with the Echo's current $180 pricing, which hasn't budged since it launched. Even then, it'll still have a huge advantage over the $349 HomePod, which Apple is also positioning as a competitor to expensive Sonos speakers.

We've reached out to Amazon for comment, but haven't received a response yet. Our source also notes that some design elements might change by the time the new Echo is actually announced. But given that they saw a working unit that looked pretty polished, and Amazon is planning for a fall release, we wouldn't expect any significant changes.

Samsung No Longer Interested In Making A Bixby Speaker? .
An anonymous source claims that Samsung doesn't see smart speakers as marketable because of the crowded market and lack of development for Bixby.“Samsung currently does not view Al speakers as marketable, as the global market is already dominated by unbeatable Amazon and the Korean market is too small to make profits,” an anonymous source told The Korea Herald. “More importantly, Samsung cannot afford to focus on the uncertain market, as most of its AI specialists -- whose number is much less than that of the US tech giants -- are currently going all out to develop the Bixby version in English.

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