Fitbit now Google, Google Pixel 4 Black Friday Sale, Nest Hub Ultrasound Sensing, Tile Sticker 8-pack with Nest Mini, Light Commands on Google Home

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Google buys Fitbit for $2.1B

Alphabet (Google’s Parent Company) bought Fitbit (pending regulatory approval) for approx. $2.1B last week. I’ve been waiting for Google to announce its wearable. Remember Android Wear or Wear OS? Maybe then I can start exercising, go swimming, and automate my home at the same time, right? I enjoy my non-smart watch, but I think Google could really blow our socks off with a wearable. I hoped that they would announce something at the MadebyGoogle event last month. Some people were talking about Fitbit comparing it to Blackberry in the smartphone market; The pioneer, however, outweighed by competition. I don’t know. I hear people say ‘Fitbit’ to describe the wearable technology for exercising more than any other device out there. Some say that this is the missing piece for Google – to corner the wearable technology market. Amazon released their take at wearables with the release of the Echo Loop and Echo Frame, and it looks its gaining traction. Maybe Amazon was going to buy it (Fitbit Versa 2 is Alexa enabled), and Google beat them to it? Nevertheless, Google’s opportunity to have an all-in-one fitness combined with everyday Google Assistant integration could be really powerful. I think the wearable could be the potential to be your personal security device (maybe integrate the Titan chip), to unlock your vehicle ignition, for two-factor authentication, listen to music on the fly, tell you the time, a homing device for your Cowarobot suitcase or personal robot (like Spot®) , or drone to follow you. These are real things now; time to integrate and automate I say. Thank you, Fitbit. Thank you, Google for creating more value. Now we wait. Patiently.

Google Pixel 4 Black Friday Sale: $400 Off

The Pixel 4 was finally released into the market last month at the MadebyGoogle event. You can read all about the features [here]. There is news that Pixel 4 will be $400 off the retail price on Black Friday – however, you’re going to have to select your carrier right away. Amazing phone, amazing pictures.

In the meantime, you can see some pretty amazing deals on the Pixel 3/XL ($400 off – offer ends Nov 23) on the Google Store right now. You can watch Brian talk about the Pixel 3A here:

Nest Hub Ultrasound Sensing

The Nest Hub does not have a camera. How will it sense that you are near the device without hearing your voice? It will use its special power: Ultrasound Sensing. The Nest Hub will now use its ultrasound feature to figure out when you’re in the room or vicinity of the Nest Hub. Google is working hard to get you the information you need, right when you need it – otherwise known as Proactive Notification. Interesting technology; it’s like Bailey the Beluga from Finding Dory (I put in a search link for you here).

Tile Sticker 8-pack with Nest Mini

The miniature waterproof Tile Sticker is out in the market. You can read about it in our article: New Unique Smart Home Products in 2019. You can buy a 4-pack of these little trackers on our affiliate link (AYL may make a proceed): https://amzn.to/2p3oJdu. If you remember in our previous article, Tile will now work with Google Assistant to help you find your devices.

The main deal here is that you can buy 8 of these stickers for $100 (retail $159) and get the new Nest Mini for free [here]. That sounds like a pretty good deal if you’re ready to litter your house with them. It seems like Tile is finding a way to ‘stick around’ the personal tracking device market (pun totally intended). The 8-pack deal runs until the end of the year. You can get ready to buy these for your family for Christmas – so you don’t lose anything.

Light Commands and Google Home

What is going on? You can use a laser pointer and program it with code to hack a Google Home or any other hub device. The University of Michigan and researchers from UEC Tokyo determined that there is a vulnerability in microphones that can be manipulated with ‘Light Commands’. Lasers can be encoded with commands to cause the microphone diaphragm inside the Google Home hub (or many other devices) to accept the laser manipulation as a voice command. Do you follow? You don’t need your voice. You just need a way to trigger the microphone diaphragm to give the device an electrical signal to make a command. Wow. Google is now working with the same researchers to re-design the microphones to prevent ‘Light Commands’ from penetrating your device. Now if there was a way to use this power for good – like to safely control a device from long distance to avoid human injury – then we’re getting somewhere.

So How do Light Commands Work? – by Light Commands (YouTube)


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