The Week in Smart Home: Alexa goes in-depth on news

The stuff you might have missed this week

The Week in Smart Home

Another week down, another opportunity to look back at the stories you might have missed. Yes, it's The Week in Smart Home.

On the site this week, we were in Milan looking at the fruits of Sonos and Ikea's new partnership, while Sony pondered the future with its colorful exhibition.

Meanwhile, Bang & Olufsen gave its new smart TV wings and the Echo Link Amp went on sale. But what's what? There's more!? You're damn right. Read on for the smaller nibbles you might have missed.


The Week in Smart Home: Alexa

Alexa improves its newsreading skills

One of the most popular reasons to use smart assistants is to read the news, but this is usually done as a "flash briefing" that keeps it short and sweet. But what if you want more than that? This week, Amazon rolled out a new Alexa feature in the US that will provide long-form news from CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox News, NPR and Newsy.

To get more in-depth stories, you'll just need to say, “Alexa, tell me the news,” or, “Alexa play news from…” followed by your news source of choice. You can also ask Alexa to skip stories you don't want to hear about. Most of these stories will be audio-only, but Newsy and CNBC are offering video stories for those of you with Alexa screen devices too.


The Week in Smart Home: Alexa goes in-depth on news

Armed Roomba-rry

A 911 call almost ended with a bullet-riddled robo vacuum. Police in Washington County, Oregon responded to a call from a man claiming an intruder was in their bathroom. Body cam footage released by authorities shows police turning up several minutes later and approaching the room where the intruder was said to be. "Come out now or you're gonna get bit," warned one officer before entering the bathroom with the K-9.

Turns out... just a Roomba. Here's the footage.


The Week in Smart Home: Alexa goes in-depth on news

No strangers in our smart cars, please

When it comes to having voice assistants in our cars, people prefer to hear one they're already familiar with - according to a survey by JD Power.

76% of car owners are interested in having the same voice assistant from their home in their next vehicle, the survey found. While that might not sound like a big deal to you, it's bad news for car makers who are trying to build their own smart assistants. Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri have already started making their way into cars, and the research suggests that they have a significant competitive advantage.

In fact, of the 5,000 people asked, 60% said that the availability of their home assistant in their next car would increase the likelihood of buying a car from a particular car company.


This week's best deals

Ring 14 piece alarm kit + Echo Dot - Save $100
Ring 14 piece alarm kit + Echo Dot - Save $100
Amazon
$229
Lifx smart light bulb - Save $20
Lifx smart light bulb - Save $20
Amazon
$39.99
Google Home Max - Save $130
Google Home Max - Save $130
Walmart
$269
Google Nest Hub - Save $50
Google Nest Hub - Save $50
Walmart
$99

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