Google Home Goes Hard After Alexa's Turf

Google Home Goes Hard After Alexa's Turf

Gear up on five IoT news bites on Wednesday

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Pixel Play Google has been very busy in one fell swoop Tuesday launched new products. One is a VR headset called Daydream View, priced at $79 and available in November. But another—and one that's a little more interesting— is a new smart home hub called Google Home, which runs on Google Assistant. The hub, which is a direct competitor to Amazon Echo, launches next month at $129 and will link to Netflix and include YouTube Red—a way to watch YouTube videos ad-free. (By comparison, Amazon Echo is currently priced at $179.99) Google announced quite a few other products in their big event yesterday—including new smartphones called Pixel. But of more interest to GearBrain is whether Google is too late to the smart home game. Have users already grown attached to Alexa? (And some even to Siri and Apple HomeKit?) Google hopes the answer to that is a resounding no.

Fitbit Fail Activity tracker Fitbit is not keeping people exercising over time. So says a new study released by the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal that found that after a year, 90 percent of participants had stopped using their device. Those who continued to use Fitbit did record more activity than those who did not. But that did not appear to bring about more of a weight loss, or lower blood pressure than those who stopped wearing the fitness trackers.

Apple Improves Touch ID Apple won a new patent that essentially embeds a fingerprint sensor under its screen—removing the need for a home button. The lower button, so central to the design, until now, of Apple's iPhone, is thought to be heading for the bin in the next round of iPhones in 2017. (Via Apple Insider)

Uber Problem Uber's self-driving car experiment in Pittsburgh, PA has some slight hiccups reports Quartz from reportedly driving the wrong way down a one-way street to being involved in a fender-bender. Uber's autonomous vehicles are not driverless—both an engineer and a back-up driver sit in the front of the car on every ride.

Smart Baby Looking to bring some smart tech to your baby's life? We have a roundup of the latest connected devices sure to up your parenting skills.

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