GM and hi everyone! Before jumping into this week’s smart home newsletter, a special welcome to the 15 newest readers of the smart home newsletter! Thank you for giving me space in your inbox. All is great here this week, the weather is pretty cold at the moment, with no wind and rain recently, just lots of ice and a little snow in parts, the countryside around our house is looking very Christmassy! 🎄Okay, let’s have look at some smart home gossip this week!
Park Associates: Over One-Third of Smart Home Device Owners Experienced Technical Difficulties in 2022 🚩
According to a recent report by Park Associates, over one-third of smart home device owners experienced technical difficulties this year. This new report, titled Self-Service Support: Improving Home Automation, developed in conjunction with RouteThis, talks about support needs across a smart home at the network and device level as well as the strategies to address emerging technical issues. Park Associates’ report shows that homeowners of ages 35-44 are the most likely to experience technical issues with their smart home devices. Also, it shows that 21% of the homeowners experiencing these issues used a self-help mobile app to resolve them. This explains why self-help mobile apps and solutions with advanced diagnostic features have experienced tremendous growth in the last four years.
Amazon’s New Storytelling Feature 🧚
Amazon recently introduced a new feature that turns your Echo device into a storytelling companion. The new feature known as ‘Create with Alexa’ relies on advances in conversation and generative AI to enable young storytellers to develop unique stories with a narrative arc, colorful graphics, and even background music. Animated images will then appear on your Echo Show device during storytelling. To get started, all you need to do is say, ‘Alexa, make a story,’ and Alexa will start telling a story based on your preferences. It’s worth noting that your choice of character, setting, and other factors will determine the direction the story will take. Additionally, the story will always be different regardless of how many times you select the same prompts.
‘Hey Disney’ Voice Assistant Is Here 🎤
Guests staying at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort will be among the first people to use the ‘Hey Disney’ voice assistant with Amazon Echo devices. The park has already started installing Echo Show 5 devices equipped with the voice assistant. Guests can use this voice
assistant to request amenities, ask for directions or part events, and make jokes, among other interactive activities. Disney Parks plans to roll out ‘Hey Disney’ to limited rooms at the park before eventually making it accessible to other hotels across Disney World. If you’re a guest at the resort, you don’t have to use the voice assistant if you don’t want to. You can easily mute it throughout your stay.
Disney fans who have Amazon Alexa and would like to use the voice assistant will be required to pay an add-on fee once it rolls out to all supported devices in the coming months.
Josh.ai and AVA Come Together to Transform Remote Control 📺
Josh.ai plans to launch its Android app, which has been purposely built for the AVA universal remote. In the coming days, the AVA remote will be an important device in the Josh.ai smart home. The new Google-certified remote control adds a complementary interface to AI systems and is fitted with a dedicated ‘Speak to Josh’ microphone on its home screen. Once you assign the remote to its proper room, it will provide you with much-needed accessibility and universal control over your home’s connected devices. You have the option to personalize your remote interface with a background image, add or remove the voice button and
even set it to ‘Kiosk Mode’ for immediate access. Additionally, the remote control enables you to activate any scene of your choice. Using the remote, you can navigate live TV, your streaming apps, and even media libraries. After activating a video zone using voice command, remote control, or automated scene, the Josh.ai universal remote interface will track the state accordingly. It’s worth noting that an adaptive button profile updates based solely on the source so that it can always reflect the control capabilities of the current input correctly.
Smart Home AI-Generated Illustration of the Week!
This is it for today, See you next Sunday morning 😉. If you have colleagues, friends, or neighbors that would benefit from knowing about smart home devices, please consider sharing them. They can sign up for the newsletter by going here.
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