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Sony Expands its Audio Range in India with its Smart Speakers

With Spotify Connect, users can stream their playlists, favourite artists or podcasts through the XB402M in few steps

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Sony Pictures, North Korean, Computer
Pedestrians walk past an exterior wall of Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, California, Dec. 4, 2014. That year, Sony became the victim of a cyber hack by North Korean operatives from the Lazarus Group. VOA

Sony India on Monday expanded its audio range in the country with its smart speakers — SRS-XB402M that features Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa built-in and promises a battery life of 12 hours for Rs 24,990.

According to the company, on pre-booking the device from August 12-August 18, the SRS-XB402M would be available at a special price of Rs 19,990 and buyers would also get a pair of MDR-XB450AP headphones worth Rs 2,490 free.

The device is available across Sony brand shops, major stores and e-commerce portals including Amazon and Flipkart.

The Sony XB402M comes with IP67 rating and is shock proof and rust proof as well.

Amazon Alexa. Flickr
Amazon Alexa. (Representational image). Flickr

“Users can enjoy powerful, bass-filled sound with the XB402M ‘EXTRA BASS’ speaker which enhances lower frequencies, making it perfect for listening to your favourite tunes,” the company said in a statement.

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“It’s now easier to get the party started with just the sound of your voice with Amazon Alexa built-in on the XB402M,” the company added.

With Spotify Connect, users can stream their playlists, favourite artists or podcasts through the XB402M in few steps. (IANS)

Next Story

Google Assistant Beats Alexa, Siri Once Again on Smartphones: Report

“As measured by correct answers, over a 13-month period, Google Assistant improved by 7 percentage points, Siri by 5 points, and Alexa by 18 points,” said the report

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The Google Assistant can now connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home -- up from 1,500 this January, Google has announced.
Google Voice Assistant. Pixabay

As the war between digital assistants intensifies, Google Assistant has once again beaten Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri when it comes to answering queries correctly on smartphones.

In its annual test, research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures found that Google Assistant understood every single query and answered correctly 92.9 per cent of the time.

The research team asked the leading digital assistants — Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa — 800 questions each.

Google Assistant was able to correctly answer 93 per cent of them vs Siri at 83 per cent and Alexa at 80 per cent.

In July 2018, Google Assistant correctly answered 86 per cent vs Siri at 79 per cent and Alexa at 61 per cent, said the report from Loup Ventures.

“We separate smartphone-based digital assistants from smart speakers because, while the underlying technology is the same, use cases vary. For instance, the environment in which they are used may call for different language, and the output may change based on the form factor,” the report added.

The research team accounted for this by adjusting the question set to reflect generally shorter queries and the presence of a screen which allows the assistant to present some information that is not verbalized.

“We eliminated Cortana from our test due to Microsoft’s recent shift in Cortanaa¿s strategic positioning,” said the report.

Apple’s Siri. Image source: Wikimedia commons

Testing was conducted using Siri on iOS 12.4, Google Assistant on Pixel XL running Android 9 Pie, and Alexa via the iOS app.

Google Assistant was once again the best performer, correctly understanding all 800 questions. Siri misunderstood two questions while Alexa only misunderstood one.

Google Assistant was the top performer in four of the five categories but fell short of Siri in the Command category again.

“Siri continues to prove more useful with phone-related functions like calling, texting, emailing, calendar and music. Both Siri and Google Assistant, which are baked into the OS of the phone, far outperformed Alexa in the Command section,” the findings showed.

Alexa lives on a third-party app, which, despite being able to send voice messages and call other Alexa devices, cannot send text messages, emails, or initiate a phone call.

Also Read: ‘WhatsApp From Facebook’ Tag Added in Latest Beta: Report

The largest disparity was Google’s out-performanceAin the Commerce category, correctly answering 92 per cent vs Siri at 68 per cent and Alexa at 71 per cent.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Alexa would be best-suited for commerce questions. However, Google Assistant correctly answered more questions about product and service information and where to buy certain items.

“As measured by correct answers, over a 13-month period, Google Assistant improved by 7 percentage points, Siri by 5 points, and Alexa by 18 points,” said the report. (IANS)