Alexa’s latest update has enabled it to show the users recorded security camera footage. The digital assistant will be able to do it on Echo Spot, Echo Show, Fire Tablet and Fire TV using a new Cameras Recap API. The developers will need to add this API as one of the skills for Alexa.
At present this is made possible by cameras from Arlo, August, Ring, and CloudCam which are already linked to Alexa. In other words, people who use these devices will be able to access this feature right away. The particular camera would show the last recorded video by it on being given a simple verbal command by the user, like “Alexa, show me what happened just now at the main door.”
Seeing live footage from security cameras was a feature already introduced by Amazon. This had made both Echo Show and Echo Spot the perfect devices to watch live streams from home security cameras. However, it was hitherto impossible to access recorded video through its devices. It has now been made possible with a few select cameras. But it is still not possible for users to access and watch a video from a particular time and date.
The new upgrade is available only in the US now. Amazon plans to expand this to the rest of the world, in the near future.
There are unsubstantiated reports that Google plans to release its device with a smart speaker and screen. Nikkei Asian Review reports that an industry source who does not wish to be named said that Google plans to have an initial batch of three million units of the product. When contacted about this, Google declined to comment on the topic, terming them as rumors and speculations.
The new product will be an extension of the Smart Display platform of Google. It will have the lineup of smart speakers from Google Home which will be helped by Google’s artificial intelligent based assistant. This includes Home Mini which competes against Echo Dot and Google Home Max which is a competitor to Amazon Echo.
Outside vendors are already incorporating the smart speaker plus screen platform of Google. Lenovo Smart display is a prominent example as it is priced at $250. It is a good competitor to Echo show which is now priced at a discounted $130. Other vendors like LG, JBL, and Sony, have also used Smart display devices by Google in their products.
Last year, Amazon was the undisputed leader in the smart speaker market segment.
Latest data from the research firm Canalys conveys that Google Home has outperformed Amazon Echo in the second quarter of this year. Google claimed 32.3% of the smart speaker market whereas Amazon got only 24.5%.
Other players are also taking note of this segment. Companies like Xiaomi and Alibaba have turned more competitive. HomePod which is the Siri enabled smart speaker by Apple is also a competitor.
Amazon and Microsoft have started rolling out the first integration of their respective voice assistants which are AI-powered. Users can now avail the services of Alexa on Harmon Kardon Invoke Speakers and Windows 10 PC, and of Cortana on Amazon devices.