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The NextMarket Report — Echo

NextMarket Report: A Touchscreen Echo, Uber for Appliances, Smart Home Insider Survey, More

Mike Wolf Amazon appliances Echo Electrolux

As we enter the last month of the year, most consumer tech companies are focused on preparing for CES. If you're Amazon, you're busy readying a new Echo.  There was a report this week Amazon might debut a new touchscreen enabled device in Q1 of next year.  While some believe it could be a kitchen optimized device, I think the implications and potential are bigger. You can read my initial thoughts on a touchscreen Echo here.  Beyond this week's article, I also have been thinking a lot about what it means to be an Alexa hardware partner. At this point, most consumer technology...

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Apple May Launch A Visual (Not Voice) Interface For The Home Next Week

Mike Wolf Apple Echo HomeKit Visual Interface

Apple May Launch A Visual (Not Voice) Interface For The Home Next Week

This year, the dominant story in the smart home so far - and tech more broadly - is the Amazon Echo, Alexa and the growing excitement over voice interfaces. The tech industry has proclaimed this the era of the voice interface, and the exuberance has only intensified over the past month as Google announced their own smart home speaker/virtual assistant with a voice interface, Google Home. As someone who's been researching next-gen interfaces for the past couple years, I wholeheartedly believe what Amazon and Google are doing here - as well as what Apple started before that with Siri - is game changing. That said, I also believe...

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NextMarket Report: Apple's Echo, Platform Fatigue, Eero and Pebble Core

Mike Wolf Alexa Amazon Apple Echo Eero Pebble

There's been lots of interesting smart home news this week, including a report of a new Echo-like device from Apple, a new smart water joint venture from Belkin and, perhaps most surprisingly, a new crowdfunding campaign for a do-anything button from wearable pioneer Pebble.    On the rumor front, The Information had a report about Apple creating a device to put, as my friends at HomeTech.FM would say, "Siri in a Can". If the report is true, I'm glad that Apple finally appears to be doing something new in the connected home, but also have to wonder if the company's falling behind in key areas...

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The Apple Echo? Apple Trying To Find Its Footing In a Post-Mobile World

Mike Wolf Alexa Amazon Apple Echo Google Home Siri

This week the Information published a report indicating Apple may be working on a competitor to Amazon's Echo.   Seeing the news yesterday morning, I tweeted my thoughts about Apple becoming something of a fast-follower in a post-mobile world, to which IHS analyst Lee Ratliff asked: @michaelwolf Post-mobile era or post-Jobs era? — Lee Ratliff (@LeeRatliff) May 25, 2016 It's a fair question, and since a tweet's 140 characters leave little room for context, let me use the more expansive format of a blog to explain what I mean: While the world of computing is decidedly mobile today, the epicenter of...

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For Smart Home Startups, It's No Longer About Platforms, But Simplicity

Mike Wolf Alexa Amazon Echo Google Home Skybell

Back in 2014, everyone in the smart home space wanted to be the platform. Companies from Lowes to Staples to SmartThings to Wink aimed to create the do-it-all smart home system that consumers would buy to control everything from lights to locks and just about anything else.But a funny thing happened on the way to mass market adoption: Consumers don't actually go looking to buy platforms. What do they buy instead? Products that they can understand and solve a clear need.The Holy GrailTake the video doorbell. Back in 2014, it was a product category that many in the industry smirked...

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