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The Week That Was: Consumer Technology (22/06/18)

22nd June 2018

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Google Assistant will be available on Sony TV
Sony’s smart TV’s will now respond to voice control in the UK, responding to commands like ‘OK Google play Ocean’s Eleven on Google Play”. Meaning you won’t have to search the films/series in the search box. The Assistant will also be able to search through all the apps on your TV for your request and find the best option. This has been a long time coming in the UK market and showcasing how Google is acting faster to keep up with Amazon Alexa capabilities.

Amazon Launch Alexa for Hospitality
Alexa is taking over hotels, with a customised version that will be within Echo devices in hotels and rentals. The Alexa will be customised to each location too, where you can command Alexa to order room service, request house-keeping, adjust the air conditioning and lighting, and request information about the hotel. This seems like a natural step from using Alexa in our homes, however, the question of security still lingers, with hundreds of people staying in the same room how do you protect personal data?

Instagram celebrates its 1 billion user mark with the launch of YouTube rival IGTV
This week Instagram marked reaching one billion users with the launch of a long-form video service called IGTV. Content has a time-limit of an hour, and during a conference on Instagram Live, the Facebook-owned platform has already piloted the new service with influencers and creators. Another unique feature of this app: it has been formatted so that all videos play vertically. This is surely another ploy by Instagram to bring users over from Snapchat and make Instagram the home of video.

AI face scanners will let fans go ticket-free at a London stadium
Facial recognition software claimed to be as accurate as the human brain will be deployed at a London stadium for the first time so that fans can go ticketless. A system from AnyVision, a company based in Tel Aviv, Israel, uses artificial intelligence to scan the whole face rather than record only metrics, such as the distance between the eyes, nose, mouth and jawline. It will be interesting to see how accurate the software actually is when its tested for the first time.

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