Last week Roku was in the news with Sonos reportedly talking to the streaming specialist about adding its new voice assistant to its smart speakers. And this week it was the turn of Spotify to cosy up with Roku, with the Spotify channel soon to be available in the Roku store.
For more on those stories and the other major smart home headlines from the past seven days, check out our dedicated news homepage. And read on for some other stories you may have missed.
Amazon part of big Tado financing
Now, we're not saying that Amazon is going to buy Tado. But what we are saying is that Google has its own smart heating brand in Nest and there's an obvious gap to fill over at Camp Bezos. Perhaps that's why the e-retail giant was part of $50 million investment round for the Munich-based company earlier this week.
It brings the total funding for Tado past $102m and Tado joins the likes of Blink and Ring in being backed by Amazon... and we know what happened to both of those.
Arlo ups the smarts
Arlo has announced that it's adding AI-powered detection features to its security cameras. Arlo Smart will now offer "industry-first Animal, Vehicle and Package Detection capabilities". These new features are landing this year, for no extra costs for Arlo Smart subscribers.
"The introduction of Animal, Vehicle and Package Detection to Arlo Smart marks the next generation of precise AI and video analytics offerings," said Pat Collins, senior vice president of Arlo products. "By leveraging the power of Arlo's advanced AI and computer vision capabilities, our users can enjoy added peace of mind and convenience to tailor their notifications to only the important events they truly care about."
Alexa's backpacking round Europe
Amazon is bringing its Echo devices to Spain and Italy next week. The move comes a few months after it announced Spanish and Italian languages for its digital voice assistant.
But it's time to get a job
As well as spreading its wings across Europe, Alexa's also got eyes on the workplace. The Alexa for Business initiative, originally announced last year, is stepping up a notch by allowing third-party companies, using Alexa Voice Service (AVS), to apply to be part of the program.
"Customers love using Alexa on Echo devices to simplify meeting room experiences and have asked us to enable the same experiences on their existing equipment,‚ÄĚ explained Collin Davis, GM, Alexa for Business. ‚ÄúWe are excited to be working with device makers to bring the power of Alexa to our customers through the devices they already use around the office. Customers get all the benefits of Alexa for Business without having to install any new hardware."
‚ÄúThe ability to create Alexa built-in products for the enterprise represents a significant opportunity for device makers,‚ÄĚ added Pete Thompson, VP of the Alexa Voice Service. ‚ÄúWith a simple extension to the AVS Device SDK, device makers can address the growing demand for voice in organizations and deliver new voice-based solutions that simplify tasks and enhance productivity.‚ÄĚ