April 22, 2018

Target Expanding Google Express Voice Ordering

14 October 2017, 01:13 | Lionel James

Google disables Home Mini's touch function to give you 'peace of mind' after improperly recording users

Google will permanently disable a control on its new $50 speaker after the gadget listened in on some users

The Google Home Mini saved recordings at times when the wake word "OK Google" wasn't used.

The consumers will be able to continue to be able to control the device using the "Ok Google" or "Hey Google" hotwords.

Google says shopping will become available later this year on mobile platforms such as Android and iOS via Google Assistant, joining Google Home and Android TV. Google itself certainly wants prospective buyers to know about the change, for obvious reasons, but still, would you buy one of these AI-supported speakers knowing that this sort of thing is possible? Similar services are offered by retailers Petsmart, Kohl's, and Costco. Customers will also be able to receive personalized recommendations based on their purchase history, and they'll be able to quickly reorder items as well. For example; this last summer, the discounter of Minneapolis started expanding its essentials next-day delivery services, which it was testing to the Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington D.C./Baltimore, and St. Louis areas.

"We have lots of different choices of how they buy from us", said Mike McNamara, Target's chief information and digital officer. And he also believes that this voice-shopping will be of more widespread in the upcoming years. Even Apple has one coming out this year.

Oil prices firm due to Middle East unrest and Chinese imports
Unrest in Iraq and the prospect of a tougher United States action on Iran nuclear deal also underpinned prices. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $51.41 per barrel, up 81 cents from its last settlement.

Target joins Walmart, Costco, Kohl's and Ulta in a growing list of retailers that have partnered with Google's voice-activated shopping platform at a time when Amazon's Alexa platform eats up market share.

So now, the Google Home Mini will be just like every other smart speaker in that its prospective owners have to actually talk to it after saying a leading catchphrase. These companies all likely see a major threat in Amazon, which now soaks up 40 cents of every dollar spent online in the U.S. and has become the default search engine for product searches for most Americans, according to researchers.

Google previously charged $10 a month or $95 per year for Express, but it recently dropped its membership fee for the service as it struggled to keep pace with Amazon's growth. And as someone who has owned an Amazon Echo for almost two years, trust is probably the biggest reason I feel comfortable keeping a device of this kind in my home.

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