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The NextMarket Report — Amazon Echo

Smart Home Weekly: Nest Mess, Juicero Debuts, Mars-Whistle & Nortek-MiOS

Mike Wolf Amazon Echo MiOS Nest Nortek

Smart Home Weekly: Nest Mess, Juicero Debuts, Mars-Whistle & Nortek-MiOS

Spring is here and with it it comes a smart home industry that is heating up with news of turmoil, intrigue and strategic investments. Of course, the biggest story over the past few weeks has been the struggles at Nest. The story seems to have a new wrinkle every day, what with employees anonymously posting complaints on Reddit and breathless headlines talking about timebombs. Amidst all the noise, I thought it was time to take a deep look at why what has happened happened, how much of it is due to poor strategic alignment between Fadell and Google's own internal structure and culture, and finally guess where all of...

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Three to One? Comparing The Early Shipments of Amazon Echo and Nest Thermostat

Mike Wolf Amazon Echo Nest

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know by now that the Amazon Echo is white hot. Just how hot has been somewhat of a mystery, but now thanks to research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, we now have something of an idea: about 3 million units hot to be exact (well, maybe not exact*).  Assuming this number is roughly in the ballpark, consider this: This is about three times the amount of learning thermostats that Nest sold by the time the company had sold itself to Google. Not bad for a new category, is it? Now I've written why I think the...

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Smart Home Weekly: Alexa Set Free, Echo For All, Hoover Goes Wi-Fi

Mike Wolf Alexa Amazon Echo Echo Hoover Roost Smart Kitchen Smart Lighting Startups

Summer may be a time of vacation, swimming and slacking off, but not for those of us in the smart home (at least if Amazon has anything to say).  This past week has seen a flurry of activity, with Amazon unbundling Alexa from Echo, starting a $100 million development fund, Roost becoming available for preorder and Hoover Europe launching its Wi-Fi appliance lineup. You can read about all of these stories below as well as look at some of the interesting startups making news in the space. I also try to bring some sanity back to the smart home space which seems to...

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Amazon Loves Alexa, Sets Her Free

Mike Wolf AI Alexa Amazon Echo Echo Google Now Siri

They say if you love someone, set them free. And apparently, Amazon really loves Alexa, since yesterday it announced that its voice-powered virtual assistant technology will be unbundled from the Echo. And if this wasn't enough love to shower on the Siri-competitor, Amazon also announced they were sending her off into the world with $100 million dollars of spending money in her pocket.  Both of these are important and interesting, so let's look at each: Alexa Unbundled Alexa is an interesting technology, combining powerful cloud-powered AI and voice recognition with Amazon powered services like Prime. Yesterday they announced they would separate the technology from Echo...

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Amazon Echo For Sale To All

Mike Wolf Amazon Amazon Echo Echo

The Amazon Echo, Amazon's Wi-Fi music player that's really a connected virtual assistant/smart home interface, is available to everyone as of today (shipping mid-July) for $179.99. Until this week, the device had been available only to Amazon Prime members since November at a price of $99, which also included a remote (which is now a separate purchase of $29.99). Whether due to the nearly half-off price or Amazon's continuous promotion of the device on the front page of its site, the twenty thousand plus reviews of the Echo tell you the device has sold well into the hundreds of thousands (the Android...

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