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What's On Center Stage at the CES Tech Show? Your Voice (apnews.com) 46

An anonymous reader shares a report: Some of the most popular gadgets over the holiday season were smart speakers with digital assistants from Amazon and Google. Apple is coming out with its own speaker this year; Microsoft and Samsung have partnered on another. As the annual CES gadget show kicks off in Las Vegas this week, manufacturers are expected to unveil even more voice-controlled devices -- speakers and beyond -- as Amazon and Google make their digital assistants available on a wider array of products. If these prove popular, you'll soon be able to order around much more of your house, including kitchen appliances, washing machines and other devices.
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What's On Center Stage at the CES Tech Show? Your Voice

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  • Order? (Score:4, Funny)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:00PM (#55885433)

    "If these prove popular, you'll soon be able to order around much more of your house, including kitchen appliances, washing machines and other devices."

    IOW an AW.

    Artificial Wife.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It is some kind of american thing - to have a stupid female voice acting like a real "wife" and no way to fuck it.

      Libturds have achieved culmination of their meaningless miserable existence.

      • by Agripa ( 139780 )

        It is some kind of american thing - to have a stupid female voice acting like a real "wife" and no way to fuck it.

        At least the artificial wife doesn't take all of your wealth and children in the divorce until they change the EULA.

    • Re:Order? (Score:4, Funny)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @02:37PM (#55886565)

      Artificial Wife.

      No, that is completely backwards. With these new devices, you tell THEM what to do.

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:03PM (#55885449)

    A good idea for sure. What could go wrong ?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yep, and calling those devices as smart speakers is just plain wrong. Their main functionality is to gather information from the products, ie. the idiots who are so stupid they will actually pay for being spied on.

      • I have a whole bunch around the house. Let's think what information they are gathering...

        Where I live and how interested I am in knowing the weather and whether Target is still open.
        My musical preferences
        My dog's musical preferences - they get music when I'm not home
        My radio preferences
        Random questions about every interest a child in the house has. How long does xxx animal live?

        Pretty much everything I ask of the Google Home is something I'd otherwise ask Google in the browser except the odd automation rela

      • I think it'd be a good idea to start calling them Smart Microphones instead. Certainly, for the people who sell it, the microphone is the primary feature. The speaker serves a similar function to a loss leader - a sweetener necessary to get people to buy it.
        I mean, I guess they can push ads with the speaker too.
  • by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:12PM (#55885497)
    The best part about all of this is life is finite and I don't have any children that will be subjected to this continuing madness. I am the answer to the Drake equation question.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:13PM (#55885501)

    A home full of voice controlled devices seems kind of nightmarish. I see so much potential for overlapping responses, especially with Amazon adding Alexa into so many devices... is your Echo going to respond? Your microwave? Your toilet?

    Or maybe it will be "OK toilet, flush now", "OK microwave, heat for 30 seconds". But then they lose the branding so I don't see that happening.

    Seems like it's way better to have a voice assistant hub and then a lot of devices that can do things based on that...

      I'm sure as appliance makers get into the game they will treat security around your microphone with even more disdain than Google, making for a bad time.

    • I have an Echo and you have to be specific in what you say. The skill developer codes it into the skill. You can't just say Alexa vacuum. you have to specify the brand of vacuum you have just like irobot or whoever coded it.

      same with all their other thousand skills. it's kind of annoying for anything past the simple stuff like play music or get the news/weather. you have to remember what to say

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That's what I dislike about echo and its "skills" you have to talk to it like you're building a command at the command line for it to get anything right. Google home on the other hand handles commands more like natural conversation.

        As for a house full of these devices. I have 3 google home minis. The have an algorithm built in that detect which one you are closest to and only that one responds. I have never had more than one of my google homes activate to the hey google/ok google keyword even if said loud e

        • Yeah I figured if you had multiple Echos or Dots or Google Home devices only one would respond, I'm more thinking when a number of appliances are around that also all accept voice commands, no way will they coordinate as nicely with other nearby voice controlled devices.

          I like some amount of voice control, it just seems like appliance makers (and Amazon in particular) seem to be going a bit overboard.

        • I have 1 echo and 5 dots. They have similar functionality where if more than one hears it, then (usually) only one responds. It works well, but it's not perfect.

          Music works the same way. Playing music on multiple devices are perfectly in sync.

          As for the skills, that depends a lot on who the skill writer is. Nest is probably the best of the ones I've found. Philips is pretty bad. But almost all of them you can rename the device, so you don't have to call the roomba "roomba". I don't call my hue lights

        • by green1 ( 322787 )

          I'm glad the speakers figured it out, because I had to disable it on most of my phones. I say "ok Google" and my watch, personal phone, and work phone all light up and all try to reply independently. If my wife is nearby her phone also responds about 50% of the time despite voice training.
          The idea of being able to add a speaker without making the problem even worse has always seemed unlikely.

        • That's what I dislike about echo and its "skills" you have to talk to it like you're building a command at the command line for it to get anything right. Google home on the other hand handles commands more like natural conversation.

          Yeah I was an early Alexa adopter but last year switched them out and now own a Google Home or Mini for pretty much every room. The voice interaction is better and the answers are more accurate.

          The only thing I miss is the inter-device intercom which is much better than Google's

        • The have an algorithm built in that detect which one you are closest to and only that one responds.

          Out of curiosity: does the "skill" or whatever Google calls their speaker apps also know which speaker you are closest to? That could be useful, and it's something that's missing from the Amazon Echo. For example "Lights on" should turn the lights on in the room you are in, without having to specify the room.

          As for smart appliances and the like, I would much prefer that they do not include Echo or Google Home or whatever, but have an API that plugs seamlessly into whichever home automation system I hav

  • by mallyn ( 136041 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:19PM (#55885543) Homepage
    Too many people in too small of a space.

    Lines for food, airline, hotel, are too long.

    Takes about 1/2 hour to get a taxi.

    Takes about 1 hour for taxi ride from Venetion to the convention center

    Los Vegas is not a good walking city.

    The convention staff act too much like cowboys treating us like cattle. The only thing missing are the whips.

    Lots of stuff that we will never see later.

    And finally, the unwashed masses!

    • I've been to CES and other Vegas conventions several times. Vegas IS OK for walking, though the blocks are pretty large it's manageable.

      The thing to do (especially for CES) is to stay near to the convention center, and walk over to the strip when you want to go there. There are a few smaller hotels down the street that are cheaper and OK (like a Best Western) and within 10 min walking, so you can avoid the whole taxi mess and have a place you can easily summon an Uber from. As for the people, there seem

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Same for E3 and many others. :P

  • by jabberw0k ( 62554 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:40PM (#55885673) Homepage Journal
    and now "Speakers" are microphones.
    • >now "Speakers" are microphones.

      Absolutely. With 100% certainty you can bet the marketing folks advised their companies that marketing these as speakers was mandatory to head off the average consumer thinking about an always-on microphone being in their home.

    • Speakers were always microphones, they are just a diaphragm with a coil.

  • I REALLY don't want an always-on microphone in my bathroom or bedroom. If a product that goes in either of those rooms has this "feature" I will not be buying that product.
  • I'm very much an Introvert and can go a long time without speaking a word (I once attended a conference and realized afterwards that I probably spoke 10 words the entire week). I would never use this kind of thing. I sort of wonder - are those creating and marketing these devices possibly more on the extrovert end of the spectrum? It never would have occurred to me to create these sorts of things since I would never want to interface with one.

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