voice activation

Why Haven't Home Assistants Gotten Smarter?

Assistant

Episode 1713

Old Chef Guy from Aqua Caliente

OCG wants to know if Google can make the Home Assistant voice hardware become smarter. Leo says that the entire IoT space has kinda hit a limit of what it can do, and there's been very little innovation of late. Even for Amazon Alexa and SIRI. At some point, it should increase in power and intelligence. But it has plateaued right now and voice-activated devices are a disappointment. AI isn't very smart, and it turns out it's very hard to do.

What's a good touch screen remote control?

Logitech Harmony 650

Episode 1235

Ellie from Honolulu, HI

Ellie wants to know what touch screen smart remote Scott likes. Scott says he's not a fan of touch screen remotes because you have to look down to find the touch button and the screen is bright which affects your vision as you return to watching the program. He prefers hard buttons. But Ellie has a sight issue. Scott says that there are remotes that have voice control out there. BlueMoo is interesting.

Amazon Announces Cloud Connected, Always-On Cylinder Called "Echo"

Amazon

Episode 1134

The Amazon Echo is a cylinder that contains speakers and microphones that are always listening for you to address it, using the wake word "Alexa." It's designed to hear you from anywhere in the room. It responds with information about the weather, sports, news, and will start playing music when you tell it to. Amazon has a demonstration video, in which they say that it isn't listening until you say "Alexa" -- except that it does have to listen to hear when the wake word has been uttered. The real question is whether Amazon is actually listening, or can listen, to everything being said.