Until now Amazon has only sold its voice-controlled devices in the US. However, they have confirmed its virtual assistant Echo speakers are heading to the UK, Germany and Austria. The machines can answer questions, control other internet-connected devices, build shopping lists and link to dozens of third-party services including Spotify and Uber. Experts say they appeal to early adopters’ sense of curiosity but tend to be harder to sell to others, potentially due to the raised concerns about the use of listening technology. With an estimated five million speakers already sold and Google working on their own artificial-intelligence-powered speaker to be launched later this year, it appears the mass market is finally ready to bring such technology into the home. Currently the most common smart home device is the thermostat, so we’re excited to see how this product develops.
- Facebook adds new functionality to Messenger that includes payments and linking ads to Messenger. The latter could help this platform take off for brands
- Snapchat – now at 150 million daily users, 50 million in Europe – introduced new ad targeting, including email and mobile device matching
- The Amazon Echo is coming to the UK, Germany and Austria this Autumn.
- Google say their app install ads have generated a billion installs for developers in the past four months– a significant jump on the previous period
- An IAB Europe report on the Programmatic Market
- Forrester report says that robots will eliminate 6% of all US jobs by 2021.
- Uber launches a limited public trial of its self-driving car technology in Pittsburgh
- Carling releases its own ‘Amazon Dash style’ beer button
- Twitter live streams its first NFL game and the experience receives some great reviews.
- This really is a deep read: Deepmind’s latest project looks to improve machines’ ability to understand and generate speech.
- On Netflix: ‘Why Hollywood fears a content monopoly‘.
- Think the new iPhone lacks innovation? You’re wrong, so says the latest a16z podcast.
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