Voice Search Babble – Volume Two

John Campbell

Managing Director & Co founder

Back for a second week is the Voice Search Babble. Fortnightly we’ll post the biggest news stories relating to voice search. Let’s get straight into it!


Google to release a speaker with a screen

It’s possible that Google are working on a speaker with a screen.  Android website AndroidPolice have found elements of code which relate to a visual display. This again looks like a move to match Amazon who have the Verge a speaker with a screen… or is that a screen with a speaker?

This could be an interesting move, having a screen could open up advertising options to Google. “OK, Google, show me a red dresses”, then a PLA advert could show. No news on a name, or a release date.

More details here: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/10/23/16519464/google-home-touchscreen-device-app-code


Harman Kardon release a smart speaker with Microsoft and Cortana

Harman Kardon, the high end speaker manufacture, have released a new speaker with Cortana built in. One way for Amazon, Microsoft and Google to expand reach is to partner with existing speaker manufacturer. The Invoke comes in at $199 which isn’t the most expensive speaker with an assistant (Google Home Max – £301). However with Harman Kardon’s reputation, it’s another avenue into the speaker aficionado market.

More details here: https://lifehacker.com/how-microsofts-new-invoke-smart-speaker-stacks-up-to-th-1819723763


Cancer Research UK launch Alexa skill to deliver news 

Some none hardware news. Cancer Research UK have created a new skill for Alexa. A skill gives Alexa more abilities, you add skills to your Alexa device, similar to “adding an app”. Cancer Research have made a pretty simple skill which allows you to have the latest news read out from the Cancer Research UK Science Blog.

More details here : http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/10/23/alexa-whats-my-flash-briefing-how-an-amazon-echo-can-now-read-you-the-latest-cancer-news/


Motorola release Speaker add-on for mobile phone

Something entirely different from Motorola, the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa is a speaker that connects to their range of Moto Z phones. So you could use the speaker out of a wifi range and use the phone cell data to connect to the internet. I’m not particularity sure about this product in terms of where it sits in the market, we’ll have to see how it does.

More details here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/18/16496088/motorola-moto-mod-smart-speaker-alexa-echo-z


Control your Chromecast with the Google assistant 

More details here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/10/17/16490138/google-home-chromecast-youtube-tv-voice-control-support


Samsung to release a speaker with Bixby – Project Ambience

One of the largest tech hardware companies in the world Samsung haven’t delved into the speaker market so far. However, it looks like they will be launching a speaker which will using their own personal assistant Bixby. There wasn’t much detail when CTO Injong Rhee was speaking at the Samsung Developers Conference, but with Samsung already having TV devices, washing machines connected to the internet they are in a strong position to introduce a speaker product into the market.

More details here: http://www.techradar.com/news/samsung-has-a-prototype-google-home-mini-esque-speaker-of-its-own


Alexa powered Garmin echo dots for your car

Garmin are going to be launching a sort of sat nav / in car assistant powered by Alexa. It’s not a dash cam but you would be able to ask for directions, ask questions, call people. You’ll need your phone to provide the device with a internet connection so if you are driving in poor reception areas its not going to work.

Again, not sure if this device will catch on, many cars now have built in assistants, voice control but maybe a good option if you are looking to upgrade your 21-year-old 1997 Toyota Corolla!

More details here: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/10/garmin-speak-is-a-tiny-echo-dot-for-your-car-made-by-garmin-and-amazon/


Family games and fun with the Google assistant 

Little bit of fun to end this week, Google home have released expanded list of games and features for the family. 50 new activities and games are launching including musical chairs, trivia and family freeze dance.

More detail here: https://www.blog.google/products/assistant/family-fun-with-your-assistant-on-google-home-and-phones/


Google Home and Stranger Things partnership

Its nearly here! Season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things. To celebrate the launch Google Home have created a game where you can talk to Dustin from the cast.

How the game works isn’t clear at the moment but you can view the trailer below.

This is a really interesting step from Google. Could you in the future pay for such integrations to time with TV shows, album or product launches?


We’ll have the next installment of Voice Search Babble in two weeks time. In the meantime if you missed last weeks read Voice Search Babble – Volume one  

John Campbell

Managing Director & Co founder

John founded Rabbit & Pork as the third agency and Voice Experience arm of TIPi Group. John has developed and launched several Google Actions and Skills, presented at several voice events around the UK, spoken on the VUX podcast and authored multiple whitepapers.