This has to rank up there with one of the most spectacular product failures in tech history. According to leaked documents acquired by Insider, Amazon’s “Worldwide Digital” unit – the unit that includes Echo smart speakers, Alexa voice technology, and Prime Video streaming – lost over $3 billion in just the first quarter of this year. It is on pace to lose $10 billion for the year and the company has announced its largest layoffs ever – cutting more than 10,000 jobs…many targeted to hit this division specifically…as Amazon reorients their business strategy.
This Friday, Sonos CEO Patrick Spence will testify before a Congressional committee (the House antitrust subcommittee) that is investigating the issue of competition in digital markets. Or, I should say, they are investigating whether the tech giants – Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, etc. – are engaging in anti-competitive activities in violation of the law. The Sonos CEO is likely to complain that Google is in fact anti-competitive. Spence’s appearance takes place literally just days after it has filed a major patent infringement lawsuit against Google – alleging that the tech giant stole its proprietary technology…making them a victim.
But some see this claim of Google victimizing Sonos as a bit of rich irony…[Read more…] about In Sonos’ Claim That It’s a Victim, Some Skeptics See a Rich Irony
Eyebrows raised everywhere when privacy-concerned industry watchers discovered that Google had put a microphone in their Nest Secure home alarm system, but failed to disclose that fact. Google says is was simply an “error.” But was it?
Read more on Google’s ‘error’…[Read more…] about Oops! Google Doesn’t Mention Nest Secure Has a Microphone Built-In
As more research continues to emerge on consumer utilization of voice-controlled devices, it becomes clear that there are still impediments to end-users utilizing their voice-control capabilities regularly, according to research by Social Lens. A separate study by Nielsen reaffirms what Strata-gee has previously reported, that people use smart speakers more for listening to music, than for any other task…including voice-control of their home automation solutions.