Voice Report – May 2, 2107

Echo Look is an Echo with a Camera, for Your Bedroom
Targeted towards fashion-conscious females, Amazon again blurs line between what technology that is both cool and creepy.

Alexa Can Speak Naturally, Now with 5 New SSML Tags
Amazon has enabled Alexa to whisper, take a breath to pause for emphasis, and more.

Google Assistant Opens to Third Party Hardware Vendors
Following Amazon’s lead, Google has begun allowing third party vendors to develop hardware with support for Google Assistant, allowing Google Assistant to be available in more devices.

Apple May Release Siri Device at WWDC on June 5th
Rumors are heating up that Apple will release an Echo competitor during their World Wide Developers Conference in June.

Voice Report – April 25, 2017

Google Home Can Identify Users by Their Voices
The voice service can now support up to six different accounts on a single device and recognize users by the sound of their voices.

Kuri Robot Showcases Growing Voice Capabilities
Mayfield Robotics has released details about new milestones reached with the voice capabilities of their upcoming home robot.

Amazon Bans Ads in Standard Skills
On a platform where developers are already questioning business viability, Amazon just made it hard for Alexa Skills to generate revenue.

Voice Report – April 17, 2017

On Release, Samsung’s Bixby Won’t Support Voice

The built-in assistant on Galaxy S8 phones will not support voice functionality when it is released on April 21.

Burger King Commercial Activates Google Home
The fast food chain gained a lot of publicity for a 15 second TV spot that caused Google Home to read Wikipedia’s entry about The Whopper. People began modifying the Wikipedia entry and Google eventually disabled the requests.

Amazon Opens up Alexa Microphone Technology to Hardware Makers

Continuing their effort to get Alexa into as many devices as possible, Amazon has begun sharing their far-field microphone technology with select manufacturers.

Voice Report – April 10, 2017

Apple Files Patent Enabling Siri to Identify Users by Voice
A patent filed by Apple reveals that the company is working on technology that would enable Siri to identify the acoustic properties of the user’s voice.

Alexa Skills Can Request User’s Location
A new API available to Alexa developers enables skills to access data about the user’s location.

Echoism.io Releases Improved Developer Console
The popular Echoism.io development site has released a new dashboard, making Alexa development and skill testing easier than ever.

Petlexa Commerical
On April 1st Amazon announced Petlexa, which allows your pet to re-order food and more from Amazon.

Voice Report – March 31, 2017

SiriKit Comes to Apple Watch
Ahead of June’s WWDC, Apple has released SiriKit for Apple Watch, allowing users ask Siri to do things like send messages, send payments, book a ride, and more.

Ikea Selling Smart Home Devices
Ikea has released a line of ZigBee-compatible smart home devices. No word yet on if there will be a companion skill for Alexa.

Samsung is Now Taking Pre-Orders for the Bixby-Enabled Galaxy S8
Looking to compete with Siri and Google, the Bixby voice assistant will make its debut in April when Samsung releases its next flagship phone.

Microsoft Announces “Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition”
In a strange move, Samsung and Microsoft are working together to release a Galaxy S8 with pre-installed Microsoft software. This begs the question – will this S8 be running Bixby or Cortana?