It's been a busy week in the smart home world, what with Alexa freaking people out with her creepy laugh, Dyson cutting the chord and making our air cleaner over in New York, and Samsung choosing an excellent name for its latest TV tech.
Here's some other juicy stories you may have missed, as well as a couple of great smart home deals to snap up too.
$150 Apple HomePod incoming
The latest rumours point towards a cheaper, smaller HomePod launching later on this year. A report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News (via Japanese blog Mac Otakara) suggests a price-tag of $150 to $200.
This isn't gonna happen, let's face it. If you want a HomePod in 2018, cough up the $349 and be done with it. And when you've done that, check out our HomePod tips and tricks to get the most out of it.
Voice assistants are taking over
While we've dismissed out of hand that a cheaper Siri-speaker will launch this year, we can't deny that smart speakers are here to stay and that the proliferation of voice assistants (VA) has only just begun. A new report from Futuresource forecasts that the VA market will exceed 100 million integrated devices by 2021.
"2017 was the year where VAs made their first serious moves beyond smart speakers and into other product categories," said Rasika D’Souza, senior market analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "This momentum is anticipated to accelerate in 2018 with headphones, smart home hubs, wireless networking equipment and STBs all expected to see popular consumer launches."
Ikea's throwing a party
We're all looking forward to that big Ikea / Sonos partnership bearing some fruit next year but, in the meantime, the Swedish furniture giant will be busy throwing a party in your house. It's hooked-up with Teenage Engineering to launch the new Frekvens range, which includes an electronic choir, vinyl player, party lighting and "everything else you need in order to throw a really good music party." You read that correctly.
The collection will be in stores globally by February 2019, featuring 22 different items.
D-Link's new smart plug goes live
D-Link has taken the covers off of the catchily-named DSP-W115 Smart Plug - which plays nicely with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
More excitingly though, the new mydlink app is also going live, which is great news as D-Link has a big range of new toys - all shown off at CES 2018 (mesh networking, powerlines, wifi extenders and the like) - that all make use of the app and its smart assistant integrations.
The DSP-W115 Smart Plug is available to order at Amazon for $29.99 now.
Deal of the week
Amazon Echo Spot: There are great deals either side of the pond for Amazon's latest Echo device - which is equally at home in the bedroom as it is in the office. In the UK, Spots are currently on sale for £99.99 (usually £129.99) and in the US you can save $40 if you buy a pair of Spots. Click here to be taken to your local Amazon Echo storefront.