Blast and Megablast bring Alexa to UE’s portable speakers

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With Alexa baked in, UE's new Blast speaker will be right at home in the kitchen.
With Alexa baked in, UE's new Blast speaker will be right at home in the kitchen.
Photo: Ultimate Ears

SAN FRANCISCO — Ultimate Ears’ punchy portable speakers just got smart. The new Blast and Megablast speakers bring built-in support for Alexa, Amazon’s voice-operated smart assistant.

Bringing the always-listening, voice-operated helper to a battery-powered speaker proved “nontrivial,” said Benjamin Falk, principal software product manager at UE, during a demo of the new speakers.

Sonos speakers will support AirPlay 2 next year

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Sonos supports AirPlay2
The Sonos One smart speaker will support Apple's AirPlay2.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos’ new voice-activated Sonos One smart speaker will work with Amazon’s Alexa assistant when it ships later this month, and will add support for Apple’s new AirPlay 2 streaming protocol next year.

The new smart speaker, which will ship Oct. 24, places an emphasis on high-end audio. With its $199 price point and promised compatibility with multiple platforms, it should put pressure on Apple’s upcoming HomePod, which costs nearly twice as much.

Amazon unleashes 5 new Echo products with crazy price tags

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Amazon Echo Plus
Amazon's new Echo devices are ready to invade your home.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon revealed not one, not two, not three, not four, but five Echo-based products at a huge event today at its headquarters in Seattle.

The wave of gadgets, which also included a new TV dongle, is ready to take on Apple’s HomePod speaker and Apple TV 4K with some pretty impressive features. Even more impressive, though, are their incredibly low price tags. It makes you wonder how Apple possibly can compete.

Here’s all the stuff Amazon just revealed.

Amazon could launch Alexa smart glasses this year

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Google Glass 2.0
Creator of the Google Glass is behind Amazon's new initiative.
Photo: Google

Amazon is working on developing a pair of smart glasses that will come with its virtual assistant Alexa built in, a new report claims.

It’s not clear the exact functionality that the smart glasses will offer, but among them will be to the ability to let users converse with Alexa at any time. This will work via a bone-conduction audio system so that the user does not have to wear headphones to hear Alexa’s responses.

Samsung confirms it will compete with Apple’s hottest new gadget

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WWDC2017
Samsung has a smart speaker up its sleeve.
Photo: Apple

Surprise, surprise; the rumors were true. Samsung will compete with Apple’s hottest new gadget.

In a new interview following the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 on Tuesday, Samsung mobile president DJ Koh confirmed the company is developing a smart speaker that will take on HomePod and Amazon Alexa. He also hinted that it will be announced “soon.”