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Apple’s WWDC 2017 debuts the HomePod voice-activated speaker

This year’s WWDC announced Apple’s foray into WiFi speakers, bringing it into direct competition once again with Google and Amazon for control over music and audio in your home. The new device is called HomePod, and it will retail for $349. The initial launch is this December for the U.S., the UK, and Australia, with a broader global rollout next year. Continue Reading

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Google Home tests out audio advertising

Voice-activated smart home speaker Google Home has started experimenting with what may or may not be an ad format. Owners of the device started hearing unprompted promotions for Disney’s upcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast. Although Google then said the mentions weren’t intended as ads, will advertising be coming to these devices? Continue Reading

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Playing music leads consumer satisfaction with voice-activated devices

A new report from VoiceLabs examines the burgeoning market of voice-activated personal assistants. With the pushes by so many tech companies – such as Amazon, Google, and Sonos – into this space, what are device owners actually using them for? VoiceLabs’ used its Voice Experience Analytics service to give some answers to that question. Continue Reading

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Sonos adds voice-control from Amazon’s Alexa

Sonos announced that it is adding some third-party app integrations to its wireless speaker products. Most intriguingly, one of the first partnerships for app support is with Amazon. People who have both Sonos speakers and one of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices – the Echo or Echo Dot – can now use the Amazon voice-controlled product to operate their Sonos system. Continue Reading