The smart home segment had a bit of a week, didn't it? Microsoft's debuted its Cortana speaker, the Harmon Kardon Invoke, Amazon showed off its touchscreen-enabled Echo Show and began rolling out free Alexa voice calls to all Echo devices. Meanwhile Hive, a British smart home device maker, is looking to make a dent in the US with subscription plans to make it easier to jump into its ecosystem.
Microsoft also held its two-day Build conference, where it showed off the Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers and the 'Emma Watch," which helped a Parkinson's patient write again. And, of course, there was Apple taking some of the spotlight which it purchased sleep tracking company Beddit.
But that's not all that happened this week. Follow us, dear reader, as we venture into the lost city of lesser stories from the week. And, as always, you can head over to our dedicated news section for even more coverage.
Samsung Gear Fit Pro may debut soon
We've known for a while now that Samsung has planned to debut a new wearable called the Gear Fit Pro. And now the folks over at Sammobile report that the new fitness tracker may debut at the company's Tizen Developer Conference next week. And that's not all - there may be a new device called the Gear POP, too. We don't know much about either, but it's likely we're going to find out very soon.
Google's infrared sleep tracking patent
Sleep tracking looks like the next frontier. Google has patented an infrared sleep tracker that attaches to your bedroom ceiling and watches you as you catch some zzz's. The infrared sensors can identify your sleep patterns based on your heart rate and breathing. However, it's not clear if it'll be able to tell between different people.
Samsung may've patented a Bixby speaker
Everyone wants a smart speaker now, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that Samsung may have just patented one. The company already makes plenty of home appliances and has a smart home platform, SmartThings. The Korean company has now been granted a patent for an "audio device" that looks like a square, standalone speaker. Seeing as Samsung has said it wants to put Bixby in everything, it's not hard to see it putting it in whatever this device turns out to be, giving the company a voice in the smart speaker showdown.
HP and Intel working on Cortana devices
The Hamon Kardon Invoke might be the first Cortana-enabled devices, but it certainly won't be the last. At Build 2017, Microsoft also announced that HP and Intel were working on devices with Cortana built in. And that's not all, as the company also rolled out the Cortana Skills Kit in public preview, so now developers can begin creating their own Cortana skills, which work across iOS, Android and Windows devices, for themselves.
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