Amazon Echo, the voice-controlled smart home gizmo that "inspired" Google Home, is finally coming to Australia! Here are the pricing, model and availability details for the local market.
Tagged With automation
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
As we use more applications and services, integration and automation become harder. So, there's a need to find ways to pull things together. Apps and services like IFTTT, Workflow and others see to automate tasks and bring our apps together. Microsoft's play in this space is Flow and the iOS version has received an update.
Over the last 15 years, Australians have reduced the amount of time spent on physical and routine tasks at work by two hours each week thanks to automation. Retail workers have spent less time ringing up items and more time helping customers, bank employees less time counting banknotes and more time giving financial advice.
And if Australia plays its cards right, we could be making $2.2 trillion from automation by 2030, according to research commissioned by Google.
Google's latest gadget is an always on, always listening little speaker called Home - and its officially available in Australia from today. It's a cute design, a friendly little blob of a thing that looks like a half finished cartoon character. Here are our first impressions.
The smart home future is here... sort of. But really how smart are a bunch of different devices all speaking different languages? Unfortunately, the smart home can be very stupid and often takes longer to set up than breathless advertisements imply. We're here to tell you how you can build a smart home where everything works in harmony.
In July last year Centrelink rolled out a new automated income matching system for detecting and recovering debts. It became known as "Robodebt" and was designed to help the Department of Human Services collect $4.5 million in debt every day. In that sense, it was super efficient. Too efficient, even.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman has just released a detailed report into the failings of the OCI - calling the system "poorly planned, deficient and unclear", confirming up to 20 per cent (possibly $3,075,503 worth) of demands to repay debt were incorrectly issued.
iOS: If This Then That (IFTTT), one of our favourite automation services, introduced support for both the iOS Calendar and App Store today.
Whether it's poorly reported stories of hacked Samsung TVs, sadly hilarious tales of hacked teddy bears, or even more bizarre claims about wiretapped microwaves, real, fake and overblown accounts of all the things that can happen with the devices we choose to connect to the internet dominate the news. We've brought this stupid future on ourselves.
Chrome: Automator is one of the easiest ways to automate tasks on your Mac, and the ability to record mouse actions makes it so just about anyone can create their own workflows within seconds. Wildfire is a Chrome extension that attempts to bring a similar feature to Chrome.
The problem with investing in smart, connected devices like Wi-Fi colour-changing light bulbs, internet-enabled power strips and wearables like Fitbits is that you need a dozen apps for them all. Stringify is an iPhone app (Android is on the way) that links all of it together. Imagine it: One app to manage them all, one app to automate them. Here's how to set it up.
iOS: Workflow is an intensely powerful app for iOS that allows you to create small micro-apps that trigger specific actions inside an app, like instantly capturing a note in Notes or downloading a file from a URL. It's always been relatively complex to use, but today it's getting easier.
If This Then That, one of the best automation tools out there, is getting a big overhaul today that changes some of the fundamental ways the service works. The biggest change comes in rebranding its recipe system so it now allows one trigger to connect to multiple services.
Android/iOS/Web: Microsoft's IFTTT competitor Flow has been in beta for the better part of 2016, but it wasn't quite fully-baked yet. Now, the company is ready to release it to the world and it's starting to look good.
If This Then That (IFTTT) is one of the best automation services around, and starting today, it's going to get a lot better. Until today, you always needed to set up, discover and activate recipes on the IFTTT site or app. Now, you can do it directly from the third-party app you want to use.
Fitbits alone won't make you healthy, but the more you see the data, the better understanding you can have of what you need to do. Over at Initial State, they made a guide that creates a big dashboard of all your Fitbit data so you can easily see it visualised.