Phone calls are a relatively new feature for both the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, both of which focused on music and house controls before adding calling.
On Friday, wireless carrier Republic Wireless indicated it’s taking the opposite approach, saying it plans to enter the space with a speaker that appears to be all about phone calls.
The Anywhere HQ is the company’s first hardware product. It’s an LTE-connected speaker that can be used to make calls, as well as issue commands.
Like “Alexa” on Echo and “OK Google” on Google Home, Anywhere HQ will require customers to use a start phrase — something like “OK Republic” — before it will make a call.
The speaker itself has volume and mute controls on top and a full number pad underneath.
Republic, a mobile virtual network operator that runs on Sprint, T-Mobile and Wi-Fi, said the speaker also has a built-in smart assistant and works with a customer’s phone number.
Anywhere HQ is part of Republic Wireless’ Labs program, where it’s being tested. Pricing and availability aren’t yet available, and the fine print on the announcement says that it can’t be sold until it obtains authorization from the Federal Communications Commission.
Republic Wireless didn’t immediately return a request for comment about further details.
Shopping for your new kitchen in a physical store? Odds are, you’ll eventually be window-shopping in AR.
The home furnishings giant Williams-Sonoma is purchasing Outward, a San Jose company specializing in 3D scanning and augmented reality, for $112 million, Recode reported Friday. Williams-Sonoma also owns Pottery Barn and West Elm.
Outward made an AR app for Pottery Barn called 3D Room View earlier this year that ran on Google’s Tango AR platform, allowing 3D models of furniture to be placed in real rooms.
Outward also specializes in detailed 3D scanning, which suggests future applications beyond AR and possibly into customized 3D design.
Augmented reality apps using home decor are becoming a serious trend: From Lowe’s to Wayfair to Ikea’s augmented app, companies are dipping into AR applications for laying out furniture using phones.
Following yesterday’s team-up between Amazon and Allrecipes, the online shopping giant is announcing yet another grocery delivery partnership with EatLove, makers of an app for personalized recipes. Once you build up a meal plan of your own, you can quickly get the items you need through AmazonFresh. EatLove isn’t just another recipe service: It accounts for dietary restrictions, medical issues and offers up daily reminders to make sure you follow its recommendations. Naturally, the integration is only available in markets where AmazonFresh is available, but it sounds like a genuinely useful addition to EatLove.
It’s hard to tell how quick a car accelerates in a cell phone video, but Tesla’s upcoming Roadster looks unbelievably quick, even at a low resolution.
Only a select few were offered rides in Tesla’s Roadster at the Semi unveiling event on Thursday night. Thankfully, there was no moratorium on recording, so videos from the acceleration test are slowly trickling out, and they look pretty unbelievable.
In this video, the ride doesn’t take place until 55:28 (if the video didn’t automatically skip to that point for you). When “Maximum Plaid” mode kicks off, it both looks and sounds quite brutal, and all those flashing lights certainly bolster that feeling of insanity.
The Roadster, which is reportedly due in 2020, packs some terrifying specs. This all-electric sports car will allegedly hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, blast through the quarter mile in the eight-second range and keep going until its reported top speed of 250-ish mph. Then again, with a price tag around $250,000, it had better do all that while also making me coffee in the morning.
The new Roadster is the most ludicrous Tesla yet
The electric automaker surprised us all, debuting a new EV supercar with unbelievable performance claims.
Welcome back to your guide to finding out what’s new online. Every week, we put together a podcast that lets you know what’s been added to services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. The audio is about a minute or two long.
If you watched “Daredevil” on Netflix, you know that Frank Castle is involved in some of the most violent scenes in the series. With his solo show, you can expect Frank to keep up the standard. The first season of “The Punisher” is up on Netflix right now.
Since you’re reading this, we’ll give you some info not found in the podcast. WWE is running “Survivor Series” live on Sunday, Nov. 19 starting at 7 p.m. Eastern on its WWE Network. It’s a stacked card featuring former UFC champion Brock Lesnar taking on “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles in a champion vs. champion match.
Want to know what else is new (including that Hulu/Marvel show)? Listen to this guy:
For more information on what’s available to watch online, check out CNET.com/Netpicks or subscribe to the podcast — it’s free! And go to TVGuide.com to see what else is out in the world of streaming.