Nest just unveiled what it’s calling an “intelligent” indoor camera. “Bearing a similar shape and styling to Nest’s signature thermostat, the Cam IQ costs $299 (or $498 for a pair) and will begin shipping by the end of June,” The Verge reports. “The aim with the Cam IQ … is nothing short of being the ‘best in class security camera,’” it writes, citing comments from Nest’s director of product marketing Maxime Veron.
Positioned as a privacy-sensitive alternative to the Amazon Echo, Andy Rubin just unveiled the Essential Home device. “Essential Home lets you control your music, ask general interest questions, set timers, and control your lights,” The Verge writes. In other words, “It mostly borrows ideas from existing products in an attempt to outdo them.” Rubin, of course, is best known for giving birth to Android.
For his final column, famed tech reporter Walt Mossberg predicts that the computer will increasingly become obsolete as smart homes, wearables, and other trends continue to gain traction. “This is ambient computing, the transformation of the environment all around us with intelligence and capabilities that don’t seem to be there at all,” Mossberg writes. In terms of timeframe, he adds: “I expect to see much of this new ambient computing world appear within 10 years, and all of it appear within 20.”
Dish Network is integrating Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant into its existing service. Per the new pact with Amazon, “The company says that its pay TV customers using either its Hopper or Wally receivers will now be able to search for programs, change channels, as well as pause, rewind and fast forward television just by speaking,” TechCrunch reports.
Going forward, Google Assistant-powered Home will be integrated into GE Appliances, the companies announced on Wednesday. “GE’s smart appliance lineup includes refrigerators, dishwashers, laundry machines, and water heaters,” ZDNet writes. “With the Google integration, users of Google Assistant or the Google Home device can use voice commands to do things like turn on the oven or check on a load of laundry.”
Today’s the day that Samsung will showcase its new operating system for smart devices at its developers’ conference. The real-time system is designed to be used in Samsung devices ranging from appliances to smartphones.
Highlighting the healthcare potential of wearables, new research shows that Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor can help detect stroke-related heart arrhythmias. The research was conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, and Apple Watch app Cardiogram, Apple Insider reports. As AI writes: “Deep neural network was trained and paired with Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor to automatically distinguish atrial fibrillation from normal heart rhythm in a pool of test patients.”
Amazon is adding free voice calling and messaging to its Alexa-equipped Echo smart speakers. “Meanwhile, users of that newest Echo, the Echo Show, which has the screen and video feature, will get added services,” TechCrunch reports. “Drop In,” for instance, “lets you make a call to someone without them even answering the phone first.”
Not to be left out of the voice-activated digital assistant marketplace, Microsoft has been working on its own voice activities to better complete with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home. The PC powerhouse has been working on a HomeHub feature for Windows 10. The idea is to make HomeHub work as a hub to control other smart home things, such as lights and appliances.
Updates are coming for ExxonMobil’s Speedpass mobile app in the form of more options for paying for fuel. This can now happen using an Apple watch. Loyalty points also are part of the platform along with receipts.