Week in smart home: In-car voice control lifts off

All the whispers and rumblings from the week

Week in smart home
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Welcome to the Week in Smart Home – codenamed W.I.S.H – which is our round up of the stories you may have missed from the past seven days.

This week it’s a bumper edition with new Philips Hue features, why you’re going to be talking to your car like Michael Knight and a brand new smart coffee machine that’s just come straight out of the 70s.

Week in smart home: In-car voice control lifts off

Philips Hue confirms Siri shortcuts

Philips Hue has long been a paid up member of the Apple HomeKit fan club (to be fair, it plays nicely with everything) so it’s no surprise that the lighting giant will be among the first to support Siri Shortcuts.

The new feature coming to HomeKit is essentially Alexa/Google Routines, and enables you to perform certain functions with custom commands. That means things like “Hey Siri, bed time” and “hey Siri, TV time” will enable you to put your lighting into specific states.

Check out our full guide to Philips Hue and how to get the most out of the Hue Lightstrips.

Week in smart home: In-car voice control lifts off

Argos enables voice shopping

Move over Amazon – Argos (a leading UK retailer) has teamed up with Google Assistant for voice shopping service. Customers can add any of the 20,000 strong line-up of products for reservation at their local store, with a voice command (and a phone confirmation). OK – it’s not quite the full Amazon Alexa shopping experience, which is a shame as Argos also offers next day delivery on pretty much everything – but without an annual charge.

Check out our guide to Google Assistant and how to shop using Alexa.

Week in smart home: In-car voice control lifts off

We love this smart coffee machine...

We can't engage with life before we’ve had a coffee in the morning, so this piece of home tech might be the perfect solution. A 2018 take on the legendary Teasmade (70s alarm clock and kettle), the Barisieur is a radio alarm clock and coffee maker.

Set your wake up time, and you’ll be awoken to coffee and music. There’s some clever design and tech, too. Walnut panels and a cooling drawer for milk that keeps it at 3 degrees centigrade. Check out our guide to the best smart kitchen tech.

Week in smart home: In-car voice control lifts off

BMW builds voice assistant

Everyone is getting into the voice assistant game. While last week we got treated to Hoover’s voice assistant for washing machines, this week BMW has announced its own in-car assistant, at TechCrunch disrupt.

The BMW Personal Assistant handles all in-car inquiries, from navigation, contact searches, climate control and entertainment switching. The assistant has no name – you can choose that yourself – although right now it has a female voice.

And the company has been keen to point out its learning capabilities – not only your voice and language, but also personal preferences too. But ready to have your mind blown? Well, its going to complement BMW’s recent announcement about it putting Alexa in its vehicles. The company says that’s because they’re good at different stuff, but sounds like having more than one backseat driver in your car could get confusing.

Week in smart home: In-car voice control lifts off

Samsung looking at smart cars

Staying with cars, Samsung is (as usual) going one better. The rumour is that it’s building a smart car of its own, at least, that’s the headline of a slightly presumptuous interview at Gizmodo Australia. But while a full car might be a stretch, Samsung is certainly looking to get its tech inside your vehicle.

"It's an obvious direction and I think it will happen," said Sunggy Koo, Vice President of smart appliances and home IoT for Samsung told Giz. "Definitely yes, the car is another good place to do extend the seamless experience into.”

Week in smart home: In-car voice control lifts off

UE Boom app loses Alexa

All these devices getting Alexa, it’s hard to keep up. But wait, UE seems to have ditched Amazon’s voice assistant, according to an Engadget report. Yes, the UE Boom app has killed-off the Tap-To-Talk feature, citing a desire to stick to core features. Alexa would only work when connected to your Wi-Fi, not really the point of a Bluetooth speaker. If you're dismayed, Check out our guide to the best smart speakers.

TAGGED    smart home

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