Siri: "Hey guys, I think they said at the 'The Venetian', not in 'Venetia'!”

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is finally over. As one of our 2020 resolutions is to write up all the announcements which are relevant for our posts, here is your timely update. We will update our posts, once features and products are rolled out, which usually happens months later.

Time to recap the many announcements from Google, Alexa and our favorite smart home brands. And, this is not just another CES 2020 “copy of the copy of the copy” article! You will find helpful links to the original announcements from all the brands in this post and just a brief summary here.

No Apple, No Siri?

It’s now the third year that Alexa and Google were having fun without Siri. Last year Apple put up a huge billboard stating “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone”. This year, they sent their senior director of privacy to speak at a “Privacy Officer Roundtable”.

While Apple announcements are usually communicated at Apple Media Events, most of the smart home brands below support Apple’s HomeKit additionally to their Alexa and Google integrations. So, even though Siri always skips CES, it’s news for Google, Alexa and Siri!

Google Assistant

Google built a two-story “escape room” to experience the interaction with Google Assistant. The idea is that you need to prepare a specific dish and the experience takes you from driving in a car, visiting a market to shop for ingredients, to preparing the meal in your smart home. No escape without the help of Google Assistant.

Google announced in their CES 2020 blog post:

  • Google Assistant has already 500 million active users per month in more than 90 countries.
  • Android phones and the Google Home app will guide us, suggesting the setup of a new smart home device.
  • Scheduled Actions will allow for controlling smart home devices at a specific time (“Hey Google, run the coffee maker at 6 a.m.”)
  • Google will work with more smart devices: August Smart Locks, Philips Hue HDMI Sync Box, Telus Wi-Fi Hub routers, GE Appliances Ultrafresh Front Load Washer, MOEN shower, D-Link Outdoor Wi-Fi Spotlight camera, VIAROOM Smart, Somfy TaHoma Hub, Yeelight Staria Bedside Lamp Pro and MerossSmart’s garage door opener.
  • Google Nest Hubs will support sticky notes, which you can leave for other family members on the display. (“Hey Google, leave a note that says I already fed Max breakfast”, with Max obviously being a dog)
  • A speed dial for contacts will allow for quick calls with short voice commands (“Hey Google, call Sarah”) or by tapping on the smart display.
  • Screen reading on Android devices: new, more expressive and more natural sounding voices will allow for easier listening for a longer period of time. (“Hey Google, read it” or “Hey Google, read this page”). The content can be translated into 42 languages.
  • Privacy: Voice commands, like “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you this week.” will delete your voice recordings in the Google cloud accordingly. To delete everything, you still need to tap through the app, though a “Hey Google, are you saving my audio data?” will send you a link to the settings on your smart phone. Please remember, just pausing a Google activity does not delete the data!
  • More headphones and speakers: Acer, Aftershokz, Anker Innovations, Belkin, Cleer, Harman Kardon, Konka, JBL, Lenovo, Philips, Seiki and LG.
  • More TVs: An updated Android TV allows to build far-field microphones into TVs, starting with Hisense and TCL in the U.S. and Samsung’s new voice-enabled Smart TVs launching in 2020. This will work like any other Google smart speaker, also when the TV is off.
  • More cars: Volvo and BMW are working on wireless Android Auto support.

Related Posts: Most of our Google Assistant Posts

Amazon Alexa

Alexa enjoyed three shows: the Amazon Devices Exhibit, the Alexa Auto Exhibit and the Ring Exhibit. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri talked about Alexa’s Food Network Kitchen integration and served signature cocktails.

Amazon announced in their CES 2020 blog post:

  • There are now hundreds of millions of Alexa-enabled devices out there.
  • There are more than 100,000 Alexa-compatible smart home products from more than 9,500 unique brands.
  • There are (still) more than 100,000 skills from Alexa developers, and hundreds of products with Alexa built-in.
  • Fire TV has now more than 40 million monthly active users.
  • Customers now interact with Alexa billions of times each week.
  • More cars: Already in Audi, BMW, Ford, and Toyota, Alexa comes in 2020 to Lamborghini and Rivian.
  • Echo Auto launches internationally. First in India, later in other countries.
  • “Alexa, pay for gas” will let you pay at 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations through Amazon Pay.
  • More TVs: LG, Samsung and Skyworth with Alexa built in. An easier to integrate Fire TV Edition (tools, features and services) which will also come to BMW and Fiat Chrysler vehicles.
  • Ring announced a new Control Center alongside six new products. You can now opt-out of incident requests from local police partners.

Related Posts: Most of our Amazon Alexa posts.

Samsung

Samsung announced in their CES 2020 newsroom post:

  • Ballie (YouTube video): Samsung’s ‘robotic companion’ vision. The clever little guy can help users exercise and manage smart devices and record special moments.
  • More Personalized Care with Samsung Health
  • AR Fitness with GEMS
  • The Smart Home of the Future:
    • “Your kitchen appliances will be your cooking partners – like a personal chef, a nutritionist and a shopping assistant, all in one”
    • A new, self-contained growing station “puts garden-fresh produce on your table every night,” and
    • Bot Chef (YouTube video) provides an extra pair of hands in the kitchen.
  • Rumors are that Big Speak, sorry Bixby, in his Galaxy Home embodiment is finally coming in 2020.

Remember 2018? Who is Bixby?

Philips Hue / Signify

Philips Hue announced in their CES 2020 post (please check the link for regional availability):

  • Low voltage plug-and-play outdoor lights: Lily XL, Impress, Econic
  • New outdoor lights: Daylo, Nyro, Appear, Attract and Resonate
  • Alexa and Google voice support for the HDMI sync box, Siri coming with a future update.
  • TV Remote support (IR) for the HDMI sync box.
  • Zones finally work now with the motion sensor and dimmer switch.
  • New smart switches from Voltus, Jung and Insta Group.

Related Posts: Philips Hue – The Smart Setup for Your Smart Lights (and the linked Siri, Alexa and Google posts)

Netatmo

No, Netatmo’s Doorbell still has not been released and no, HomeKit secure video is still not out for the Welcome and Presence cams, but we have a new smart Netatmo thing to look forward to:

The Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys!

  • Lock and unlock your Door Lock by inserting your Netatmo Smart Key (NFC) just like a conventional key, or by using your smartphone.
  • Manage your Keys via Bluetooth in the app: they’re customizable and impossible to duplicate, you can add new keys with one simple click, deactivate lost or stolen keys and even reactivate them if you find them again.
  • Send guests an invitation via the smartphone app to let them into your home from wherever you are, there’s no need to leave them a key.
Manage your Keys via your smartphone - Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys

Related Posts: Netatmo Weather Station, Rain and Wind Gauge, and Alexa and Siri (and more to come!)

Nanoleaf

Nanoleaf has announced in their CES 2020 post:

  • New unified touch-reactive Hexagon shaped light tiles (with shape interconnectivity).
  • The Nanoleaf Screen Mirror app (appears to be out of beta now).
  • The Nanoleaf Learning Series (Learning Switch, Learning Button, Learning Bulb, Learning Gateway). We won’t need apps, voice assistants or physical switches for controlling smart lights, as the system learns through its sensors when we approach a room and how much light we need based on existing ambient light (the sun).

Related Posts: Nanoleaf Aurora How To – Setup and Configuration to the Muks! (and the linked Rhythm, Remote and Siri, Alexa and Google posts)

Conclusion

Many, many announcements and many features and smart devices to look forward to. We hope you’ve enjoyed our CES 2020 update, our favorite brand selection and what’s coming in the next months or “later this year”.

Please don’t forget that it sometimes takes longer! Right, Bixby?

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