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Apple says delayed HomePod speaker ready to go

Apple said on Tuesday its HomePod speaker, the digital assistant device challenging rivals from Amazon and Google, was now ready after a delay of several months. HomePod, which missed the key holiday shopping season in the fast-growing market for connected speakers, will be available for pre-order Friday and in stores February 9 in the US, Britain and Australia. A statement said it would hit markets in France and Germany "this spring." Apple is arriving late to a market dominated by Amazon's Alexa-powered devices…

Apple pushes launch of HomePod smart speaker to early 2018

SAN FRANCISCO: Apple has pushed the launch of its HomePod smart speaker to early next year from December, the company said on Friday. "We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod ... but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018," an Apple spokeswoman said via email. Apple introduced the voice-controlled HomePod in June. The speaker, which can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures, takes aim at Amazon.com’s Alexa…

Alexa and Cortana to join forces

SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana will start talking to each other in a first of its kind alliance of rival digital assistants, the companies said on Wednesday. Amazon Echo device users will be able to ask Alexa to bring in Cortana as a "guest" to tend to tasks such as booking meetings or reading work email. Meanwhile, those with devices powered by Windows 10 software will be able to have Cortana bring in Alexa for tasks such as controlling smart devices in homes or, of course, ordering items from…

WATCH: This touch-screen device can take verbal commands

Amazon has officially unveiled its latest Echo product: a touch screen device with built-in digital assistant Alexa called the 'Echo Show'. The WiFi-enabled home device with a seven-inch screen is the newest addition to Echo range that plays media and responds to voice commands. The Echo Show has seven-inch device and eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation which hears from any direction—even while music is playing Alexa - the brain behind Echo Show - is always getting smarter, and adapts…

Samsung’s assistant Bixby in tough challenge to rivals

Samsung's Bixby is the new kid on the block of personal digital assistants and is likely to face a rough reception in a neighborhood dominated by tech sector rivals. Bixby -- introduced at Samsung's unveiling of Galaxy S8 smartphones -- aims to help the South Korean giant break into a surging market for voice-activated virtual assistants, which includes Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana. The latest personal digital assistant distinguishes itself from competitors by using voice…

Amazon Alexa virtual assistant shines at CES 2017

LAS VEGAS:Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa is emerging as one of the big winners at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, cropping up in TVs, cars, fridges -- you name it -- in what may signal a breakthrough moment for the smart technology. Alexa's voice-activated artificial intelligence tool was everywhere at the annual tech gathering in Las Vegas -- a closely-watched testbed for the latest industry trends -- even though Amazon was not officially taking part. Tech giants Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft are all…

China’s Huawei adds Amazon Alexa to flagship phone

LAS VEGAS: Chinese tech giant Huawei is adding Amazon's artificial intelligence application Alexa to its flagship smartphone for its US launch. The number three global smartphone brand, Huawei announced at this week's Consumer Electronics Show that its Mate 9 handset would include the personal digital assistant developed by Amazon. The Mate 9, a large-screen "phablet" marketed as a rival to the big handsets from Apple and Samsung, will be available to US buyers in "early 2017," the Chinese firm said at the Las Vegas…

Lenovo launches ‘home assistant’ with Amazon Alexa

LAS VEGAS: Chinese tech giant Lenovo announced it was launching a smart home assistant powered by Amazon's Alexa, becoming the latest firm to enter the market for voice-activated devices. The new Smart Assistant, to go on sale for $129, will compete with Amazon's Echo speakers using the artificial intelligence developed by Amazon. Lenovo made the announcement ahead of the opening of the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, which features a dizzying array of tech gadgets and concepts. Built in collaboration with Amazon,…