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Report: Amazon, Google Lead Global Smart Speaker Market, Apple Stands Fourth

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in the first quarter

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Move Over UPS: Amazon Delivery Vans to Hit the Streets
Amazon India to host online sales event for SMBs. Pixabay

Amazon and Google accounted for 70 per cent share of the global smart speaker shipments in the first quarter of 2018, with Apple selling 600,000 HomePods in the period, a new report said on Friday.

According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, global smart speaker shipments reached 9.2 million units in the first quarter.

With 43.6 per cent market share, Amazon shipped an impressive four million smart speakers during the quarter though its global market share nearly halved from the same period in 2017.

Google (26.5 per cent market share with 2.4 million sales) and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (7.6 per cent market share) consolidated their number two and three rankings, while Apple with six per cent share became the fourth largest smart speaker brand worldwide.

Apple stands fourth in Global Smart Speaker Market
Apple stands fourth in Global Smart Speaker Market. Pixabay

“Amazon and Google accounted for a dominant 70 per cent share of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 2018 although their combined share has fallen from 84 per cent in Q4 2017 and 94 per cent in the year ago quarter,” said David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics.

This is partly as a result of strong growth in the Chinese market for smart speakers where both Amazon and Google are currently absent.

“Alibaba and Xiaomi are leading the way in China and their strength in the domestic market alone is proving enough to propel them into the global top five,” he added.

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Today’s smart speakers are by no means the finished article but they have captured the consumer imagination.

“We are clearly heading towards a time in the not too distant future when voice becomes a standard mode of technology interaction alongside established approaches like keyboard, mouse and touchscreen,” Watkins said. (IANS)

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Google Maps Captures Over 10 mn Miles of Street View Imagery

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible

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Google Maps
There's also the Street View trekker on Google Maps, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn't possible.

Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times.

The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers – covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population – to see the world from above.

“While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day,” said Thomas Escobar, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.

The idea of Street View started as a side project more than 12 years ago as part of a goal to map the entire world.

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible.

“These cameras are athermal, meaning that theya�re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments,” Escobar added.

Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.

There’s also the Street View trekker, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn’t possible.

These trekkers are carried by boats, sheep, camels, and even scout troops to gather high quality photos from multiple angles, often in some of the hardest-to-map places around the world.

Google Maps
Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times. Pixabay

In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped the company assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

Once Google collects photos, it uses a technique called photogrammetry to align and stitch together a single set of images.

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“These images show us critically important details about an area-things like roads, lane markings, buildings and rivers, along with the precise distance between each of these objects. All of this information is gathered without ever needing to set foot in the location itself,” said Google. (IANS)