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A tour of Google’s reopened CES booth

A tour of Google’s reopened CES booth For the first time ever, Google has a big presence at CES. You can’t look out of a window and not see a Google logo somewhere. But the one thing that didn’t work out so well for the company was its massive booth on the parking lot in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Yesterday, it rained a bit more than usual in Las Vegas and the booth leaked, so Google had to shut it down for the day. Today, however, the…

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SimpliSafe redesigns its home security system, announces video doorbell, smart lock and camera

SimpliSafe redesigns its home security system, announces video doorbell, smart lock and camera SimpliSafe was one of the first modern startups in the home security space. Over the course of the last few years, though, as others entered the market, too, SimpliSafe’s rather pedestrian design started to look stale. Now, at CES, the company is introducing a full redesign of its system, both in terms of design and technology. In addition, it’s also launching a video doorbell, a smart lock and an outdoor camera. The new system’s sensors are half…

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Baidu sets its sights on Japan with a voice-enabled projector in a dome light

Baidu sets its sights on Japan with a voice-enabled projector in a dome light Baidu’s DuerOS is essentially China’s Alexa. Over the course of the last few years, the company has built a voice assistant and an ecosystem of hardware partners that, for the most part, cater to the Chinese market. At CES this week, the company talked a bit more about its own first-party smart speaker: the oddly compelling Raven H, which looks nothing like what you imagine a smart speaker would look like. In addition, though, it also…

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Huawei’s new whole-home Wi-Fi system combines Powerline and mesh networking

Huawei’s new whole-home Wi-Fi system combines Powerline and mesh networking Huawei today announced a new whole-home Wi-Fi system, the WiFi Q2. Currently, Wi-Fi mesh network systems are quickly becoming the standard, with companies like Qualcomm estimating that they now account for 40 percent of new Wi-Fi router sales. Huawei is going a different route, though. In addition to a Wi-Fi mesh, it also uses a Powerline network that routes your traffic over the existing electrical system in your house instead of dedicated Ethernet cables. The result of this (ideally), is that…

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Google shuts down its CES booth because it’s not waterproof

Google shuts down its CES booth because it’s not waterproof We were supposed to get a little preview of Google’s CES booth ahead of the official opening of CES today. But that wasn’t meant to be. See, it’s raining in Las Vegas and Google’s two-level outdoor CES booth clearly wasn’t meant to withstand rain. My guess is that its IP rating is probably somewhere around 50. For now, the booth is closed, with tarps covering the roof and all of the electronics inside and out. Usually, this wouldn’t be a big…

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Libratone’s new wireless earbuds automatically adapt their noise cancellation based on the sounds around you

Libratone’s new wireless earbuds automatically adapt their noise cancellation based on the sounds around you Libratone has been around for almost ten years, but for the longest time, the company was mostly known for its Bluetooth speakers. With the launch of the Pixel 2, Google chose Libratone as one of its first “Made for Google” headset partners, which gave the company’s headset lineup a bit of a boost. Now, at CES, the company is launching its latest headset, the Libratone TRACK+ Wireless In-Ear. There’s obviously nothing new about wireless in-ear headsets (you…

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Google launches a new directory to help you discover Assistant action

Google launches a new directory to help you discover Assistant action Google says that you can now perform more than a million actions with the Google Assistant. Those range from looking up photos with Google Photos to starting a meditation session from Headspace. But one problem with voice assistants is that it’s very hard to discover what actions you can actually perform. For many users, that means they use their Google Home or Alexa to set a few timers and maybe play music, without ever realizing what else they can…

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Qualcomm expands its support for Alexa, Cortana and the Google Assistant

Qualcomm expands its support for Alexa, Cortana and the Google Assistant Qualcomm, the chip manufacturer that Broadcom really wants to buy, is using this year’s CES to launch a new platform for smart speakers, displays and other devices with built-in support for Google’s Assistant. In addition, the company also announced that its Smart Audio Platform is now certified by Amazon for Alexa Voice Service and that it supports Microsoft’s Cortana assistant, too. All of these platforms, the company hopes, will allow other hardware manufacturers to more easily build devices that support…

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Google brings its Assistant to Android Auto

Google brings its Assistant to Android Auto It’s no secret that for Google, this year’s CES is all about the Google Assistant. One Google product where the Assistant hasn’t really made any inroads yet, though, is Android Auto. Starting this week, though, Android Auto users in the U.S. will also get full support for the Assistant in their cars. Now you may think that the Assistant was already available in Android Auto, given that the service always responded to voice requests. But for the most part, that was still the…

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Qualcomm CEO: Spectre/Meltdown are ‘not an area of concern for us’

Qualcomm CEO: Spectre/Meltdown are ‘not an area of concern for us’ During a press conference at CES, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon announced a number of new partnerships and products around the automobile industry, mobile, voice assistants and 5G. At the end of the event, though, he was also asked about his reaction to the Spectre/Meltdown security flaws that are haunting the chip industry. According to Amon, the impact on the mobile industry will probably not be very high because the fixes are already available and won’t have any major impact on…

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