The week in smart home: Samsung's Bixby learns British English, and more

The smart home keeps getting smarter

Samsung's Bixby learns new languages

Samsung had a big event this week, and while the Galaxy Home smart speaker didn't make an appearance, we did learn than it will arrive in April.

Xiaomi is also jumping into the smart display speaker with its own offering, while Amazon put its Echo Wall Clock back on sale, having fixed some connection bugs. It also opened up the Skill Store so that anyone - yes, even you - can make and sell Alexa Skills. Elsewhere in Smart Home Land, Nest and Google are in some trouble after revealing the Nest Guard had a secret microphone, too.

Last, but not least, Apple seems to be making moves to beef up its smart home game, hiring the former Otto founder and Microsoft employee to head up Home work and buying PullString, which works on voice design.

That's not all that happened this week though. Read on for even more. And of course, check out our dedicated news section.

The week in smart home: Samsung expands Bixby's language options

Bixby learns new languages

Bixby now has support for German, Italian and Spanish, as Samung revealed at this week's Unpacked event. Oddly, Samsung's smart assistant doesn't have support for French, a language that's very similar to both Italian and Spanish. However, it can now differentiate between American and British English, which is something.

Bixby doesn't yet have official support for Australian or South African English, but that's likely coming. The assistant can now be used by more people, but it's got a long way to go to catch up to Siri's 20 supported languages or Google Assistant's dozen.

One other small piece of Bixby news: The Galaxy S10 will allow you to remap that Bixby button to launch whatever app you desire.

The week in smart home: Samsung expands Bixby's language options

LG and Tovala team up for smart cooking

LG and Samsung have been duking it out with smart refrigerators and ovens for a while now, but LG may have just added a slick advantage. It's teaming up with Tovala, a meal service, to smarten up its appliance's cooking.

Tovala meals are prepped by chefs and shipped to your door. If you have an LG oven, you'll have to do a minute of final prep and then scan the meal's code with your smartphone. You place the meal in the LG oven and then the oven will automatically handle the cooking. It'll heat the meal to the right temperature - and stop when it's ready.

Tovala says there are tens of thousands of recipes to choose from, and all of their cooking instructions will be sent directly to the LG oven. No need to worry about overcooking or burning your meal.

The week in smart home: Samsung expands Bixby's language options

Leviton smartens up the circuit breaker

Smart lighting has a lot of ins. You can get smart bulbs, you can get smart lighting fixtures and you can even get smart switches and plugs. But hey, why not skip all of that and go straight to the smart circuit breaker?

That's what Leviton is working on. It's a new Wi-Fi enabled breaker box called the Leviton Load Center, allowing you to turn off your breakers from your phone, monitor your energy usage and even predict your next power bill.

There's no price yet, but since it's a breaker box you can expect it to be expensive. It'll be available this summer through Leviton's network of electrical distributors.


This week's best deals

Echo Show 5 - Save $40
Echo Show 5 - Save $40
Amazon
$49.99
Fire TV Stick 4K - Save $25
Fire TV Stick 4K - Save $25
Amazon
$24.99
Echo Dot 3rd Gen - Save $27.99
Echo Dot 3rd Gen - Save $27.99
Amazon
$22
Echo Show plus Hue and Dot - Save $70
Echo Show plus Hue and Dot - Save $70
Amazon
$159.99

TAGGED   smart home

What do you think?

Reply to
Your comment