Microsoft has its own Amazon Echo competitor coming, and it’s called Invoke. Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their reactions to Microsoft’s new Cortana-based product, voice assistants, smart home fatigue, and more.
Amazon unveiled its Echo Show, and it has a display. Bryan Chaffin and the Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to share their reactions to Amazon’s newest Alexa device. They also have some thoughts on the unintended confirmation that the FBI paid $900,000 for the San Bernardino iPhone hack, plus Bryan coins “I’m gonna up that up.”
The biggest un-surprise of the day comes from Amazon and its just announced Echo Show. The well-leaked new Echo model includes a built-in display and camera so you can get visual responses to your Alexa queries and make video calls, too.
The next time you’re driving around California, you may find brand new Apple HomeKit houses built by Brookfield Residential. Other builders have offered HomeKit upgrade packages, but Brookfield will be the first to integrate HomeKit from the ground up, making it a standard.
Looking for a Mother’s Day present? Andrew Orr found a new type of digital art decoration on the market called Meural Canvas. It’s a 27-inch screen you hang on your wall, and change the art it shows using your smartphone. You can upload your own photos to the display, and the company partners with a bunch of big-name art museums. You can choose over 30,000 paintings from Meural’s app and website.
Logitech’s POP Smart Button is getting HomeKit support, and its POP Smart Button Kit will be available in Apple’s retail stores. The button supports a wide range of devices, so you can use it to control non-HomeKit gear, too.
Daptly launched a new product for the smart home called Daptly Display. It was built for a specific consumer in mind—people frustrated with voice-only assistants and want visual cues. Enter the Daptly Display, a smart mirror that acts as a gesture-controlled interface. Amazon Alexa is built in, and the interface is for people who aren’t ready (or don’t want) a voice-only future. As well as acting like a fog-resistant mirror, you can use it as a photo frame, by uploading photos from your phone or choosing among Daptly’s 50,000 photo collection. It’s an interesting take on user interfaces, one that borrows from science fiction while harnessing existing technologies. Check out the promotional video below, and decide if you want to reserve a Display. The device will sell at US$799, but you can get US$200 off if you reserve soon.
Dr. Mac was recently invited to review a smart deadbolt. He explained that he’s not a do-it-yourself type of guy, and probably didn’t have the tools or skills to install a deadbolt. He also questioned the need to ever unlock his door using an iPhone instead of a key. A Sense Smart deadbolt kit arrived a few days later; he installed it himself in under an hour.
Apple updated its HomeKit page with a fresh, new look. It includes a brief video that shows the power of HomeKit automation with iOS 10. Examples in the video include lights, window shades, coffee makers, door locks and thermostats. Apple also has several sections that give details of different areas of the Home app.
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Kwikset recently introduced Premis, the company’s first Apple HomeKit-compabitle touchscreen smart lock. John F. Braun received a demonstration of the new product from Marty Hoffmann, VP of Marketing, and here are the features he thinks you’ll like.