Read along with Google Home Mini and Disney’s Little Golden Books

A new Google and Disney partnership has brought Disney Storybooks to life. The next time you read out loud select Disney Little Golden Books, your Google Home will add sound effects and soundtracks to accompany the story as it is read aloud.

This new feature uses voice recognition to be able to tell when a reader has skipped ahead or gone back, and adjusts the sound effects accordingly. If the user pauses reading, ambient music will play until the user begins reading again. This feature works on Google Home, Home Mini, and Home Max speakers in the US. To activate the action, just say, “Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney.”

During the story, unlike with other typical commands, the smart speaker’s microphone will stay on so the device can follow along and add sound effects. To address privacy concerns, Google says it does not store the audio data after the story has been completed.

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H&M Home Gift Guide enables Voice Shopping

Voice computing is opening new possibilities for the retail industry, especially to inspire and interact with customers. So, this holiday season (2018), H&M decided to take the lead when it comes to shaping the voice commerce of the future and to have their customers be part of the journey.

H&M in USA launched the H&M HOME Gift Guide – an easy to use voice application filled with inspiration and ideas for different holiday gifts for anyone’s home available via the Google Assistant on all smartphones and Google Home smart devices. To activate the H&M HOME Gift Guide, users had to simply ask for H&M HOME from their Google Assistant and then easily browse through the H&M assortment to find the most suitable gift. The voice application also offered easy payment through voice.

H&M HOME initially announced the creation of a voice application, called H&M HOME Stylist, in June 2018. At that time, H&M said the voice stylist offered personal styling suggestions, mood boards and inspiration for every room in the home.

Hence the H&M Home Gift Guide is just a revamped version of H&M Stylist, prepped with Holiday themed products.

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The intelligent car from Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has recently announced that all of its 2016 and 2017 vehicles in the US would now be able to connect with both Amazon and Google’s digital voice assistants.

With the help of this integration Mercedes owners can now instruct their Amazon Echo or Google Home to remotely start or lock their vehicles, as well as send addresses to their in-car navigation system. The video below however shows Mercedes-Benz creating an intelligent ecosystem around its cars with the help of cutting-edge technology.

Mercedes isn’t the first automaker to recognise the potential of artificially intelligent
third party digital voice assistants. At CES earlier this year, Ford unveiled its plan to roll out Alexa-equipped vehicles. Around the same time, Hyundai announced a new partnership with Google to add voice control through the Google Home.

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