We’re entering into a new era with these voice-activated home assistants. Many assumed robots would become common in the home, but the ability to speak to these devices to get information and control home devices will likely become very popular with both Amazon and now Google getting into the game with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.
If you’re considering one of these gadgets, then check out the video above. They literally tear down these two products while comparing their features.
Without trying to sound like they’re cutting me a check for saying so, I love JetBlue. Not only do they provide noticeable amounts of more leg room, but they also give you a personal TV screen with basic cable, and overall provide the best service of any airline I’ve ever used.
The reason for this shameless shilling is to get across the point that JetBlue really do have an eye on making drastic improvements to the flying experience. That is now evident more than ever, thanks to the recent Google sponsored contest asking people to come up with their own uses for the upcoming Google Glass device through the twitter hashtag campaign #ifihadglass. While some amazing concepts have already spawned from the contest (such as 911 liveview assistance), one of the more complete visions of the Google Glass future comes from JetBlue.
Essentially they are envisioning a world where you can stay on top of your flight, and the airport experience in general, without ever breaking stride thanks to using Glass to do everything from the expected but awesome (check live flight status, know when your baggage will arrive, get a cab fare estimate) to the “HOLY CRAP, REALLY?!?!?” ideas such as viewing the capacity of the nearest parking garage and a tracker for the nearest available electrical outlet in the terminal.
This is all of course just a concept, and a very early one at that, but it not only shows how much more pleasant the flying experience could be with Google Glass, but is also slowly showing the world exactly the type of things this device is truly capable of, and why its upcoming release is set to be the biggest gadget release since the iPhone.
The Chrome OS notebook pilot program is in full swing, to the point that several applicants have received their laptop. I’ve looked through a bunch of the application videos, but this unboxing by Ed Albro from PC World seems to be the most thorough and clear so far. Check it out.
We’ve been waiting a long time to actually get a look at the Nexus One successor, and it’s finally here. The Nexus S, yes, based on Samsung’s Galaxy S, will on December 16th. The phone will be available unlocked for $529 or attached to a T-Mobile contract for $199. From what early reports are saying, this is the Android device to have.
The phone sports all the usual hardware – 1GHz processor, 5MP camera (720p capable), front-facing camera, hi-res display – but the real ‘Google experience’ is in the software. As with the Nexus One, the Nexus S comes with a ‘clean’ Android install (Gingerbread 2.3 on this one), meaning it’s unadulterated by the manufacturer or third-party vendors.
The Nexus S is also the first phone to market with built-in NFC support. Near-field communication isn’t such a big deal now, but it could easily become the way we handle quick transactions in the near future. It’s also a nice, fast way to send information between two NFC-enabled devices.
Google is about the only company that can make me sad to be an iPhone owner. Any time Google rolls out a spiffy new app for the mobile market, I die a little inside, knowing I probably won’t get to use it any time soon. Take Google Goggles, the service that allows you to search by what the camera on your phone can see. It debuted last December for Android users, and it has just now made its way to the iPhone.
Despite the long wait, the app is as cool as ever. Google built the new function into the standard Google Mobile app, which already allows you to search by text and voice. Here’s the official word from the Google blog:
In the new version of Google Mobile App just tap on the camera button to search using Goggles. Goggles will analyze the image and highlight the objects it recognizes — just click on them to find out more.
Though Goggles is still technically a “Labs” feature, Google says it works well for things like landmarks and logos, and that it will continue to improve for objects like animals and food.