Farming assistant app Agrolly wins IBM’s Call for Code contest

The innovative platform will be a one-stop-shop for farmers seeking out more information on what to plant and when.

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An autonomous combine–again, smaller and lighter than conventional farm machinery–harvesting HFHa’s first crop in September 2017.

Image: HandsFree Hectare

Agrolly, a platform built to help farmers in emerging markets, was chosen as the winner of IBM’s 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge.

Agrolly provides farmers with a bevy of information about weather patterns and crop characteristics, giving them advice on what would be the best thing to plant during certain times of the year. The platform also has ways for farmers to connect with experts as well as ways for them to share information and tools with each other.

During the virtual “2020 Call for Code Awards: A Global Celebration of Tech for Good” event, Agrolly was announced as the winner of the annual competition, which brings together the world’s brightest

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Google Assistant Now Works With Android Apps

Google announced that now it’s possible to use Google Assistant with third-party apps on Android phones. So, Android users will be able to search and control their third-party apps when they ask it to Google Assistant. Google is rolling out the ability to search apps, use voice commands for popular tasks like sending text messages, ask for the news on Twitter, or browsing your shopping cart. For example, you can now say, “Hey Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy” and get right to what you’re looking for. Or if you’re looking for something (or someone) specific within an app, just say, “Hey Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.” 

Previously, Google Assistant’s third-party support was largely limited to some custom actions, mostly apps that run within Assistant. With the new functionality, Google Assistant will work directly with apps that you have installed on your phone. Now, these kinds of voice commands

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Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant?

If you’re nervously thinking of handing your tasks (and inbox!) over to a complete stranger, don’t worry – we did the research for you.


4 min read

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It was 6 a.m., and Ari Meisel was half awake at an airport gate, about to board a flight to Toronto. Then his virtual assistant sent him a message: “Flight canceled!” it said. “We rebooked you on a different one, so head over to gate G7.” 

Meisel runs a business coaching service and productivity method called Less Doing, and this is exactly why he loves having a virtual assistant (or VA). Someone fixed his problem before he was even aware it. “I believe VAs should be utilized for personal tasks as much as business tasks because they both take weight off the entrepreneur’s mind,” he says. “I

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Google Assistant voice commands work with Android apps now

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Juan Garzon/CNET

Google is bringing Google Assistant voice controls to select third-party Android apps, the company announced in a blog post Thursday.

Examples of new, app-specific voice commands Android users can take advantage of.


Google

“Opening and searching within Android apps using ‘Hey Google’ is now available to all Assistant-enabled Android phones,” wrote Google product manager Adam Coimbra. “For example, you can now say, ‘Hey Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy’ and get right to what you’re looking for. Or if you’re looking for something (or someone) specific within an app, just say, ‘Hey Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.'”

Beyond just opening and searching within apps, Google adds, users can also ask the assistant for help with specific app-based tasks, like playing music, starting a run, paying a friend or ordering food for delivery. 

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Google Makes Google Assistant ‘More Accessible For More People’ With New Tobii Dynavox Partnership

Google on Tuesday announced a new collaboration with Swedish technology maker Tobii Dynavox that brings Google Assistant to Dynavox’s devices and mobile apps.

In Google’s blog post, product manager Praveen Chandran wrote the company has worked with Dynavox to integrate Google Assistant into the latter’s Snap Core First software. Snap Core is a symbol-based application that enables the communicatively impaired with a means of communication using simple, icon-like pictures similar to PECS. But it isn’t only for communication—this new functionality also allows Dynavox users to control their smart home setup and more using Google’s venerable digital assistant. Additionally, Chandran said users can benefit from the Action Blocks app, which was announced earlier this year, utilizing similar concepts. “Starting today, Tobii Dynavox’s library of tens of thousands of Picture Communication Symbols can now be used to create Action Blocks buttons,” he wrote. “[P]eople who might be accustomed to assistive technology

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Google Assistant features to get the most from your Android smartphone



Google Assistant features to get the most from your Android smartphone


© Pranav Hegde
Google Assistant features to get the most from your Android smartphone

In case you are not aware, Google Assistant is available for all Android smartphones. It’s either built-in and if not, you can install it from the Google Play Store. Google Assistant not only works great for answering your queries, but it also has some other useful features. Below is a list.

1. Schedule devices to start working – This one needs you to have a connected home to function properly. You can use smart plugs that are compatible with Google Assistant and plug-in your home appliances/devices as well. Once you have everything connected, you can use Google Assistant to schedule actions for each connected item. E.g., you can have your TV turned off at 11.30 every night, or you can set your AC to start at 6 pm before you reach home and so on.

2.

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Gym Assistant releases new SmartPhone systems to help Health & Fitness businesses during COVID-19

Gym Assistant releases new SmartPhone systems to help Health & Fitness businesses during COVID-19

Gym Assistant has released a new SmartPhone Access system for Health and Fitness Club Operators and Members.

Alameda, California – September 15, 2020 – Gym Assistant software (developed by Bio-Logic Inc.) has released a new SmartPhone Access & Check-in system that assists Health & Fitness club operators during COVID-19.

Gym Software

During the current COVID-19 public health emergency environment in the United States, the handling of cards/fobs or touching keypads or biometrics can be perceived as potential health risks.  To offer improvements with this Gym Assistant has released their new Gym Assistant SmartPhone Access & Check-in systems so that users can minimize physical touchpoints.

When asked about the new SmartPhone Access & Check-in systems for Health & Fitness club operators, the Company spokesperson said,

“The new Gym Assistant SmartPhone Access & Check-in systems allow gym owners to provide convenient, reliable and secure access to any user with the Gym Assistant partner SmartApp

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Amazon’s new products include flying security camera for your home, virtual assistant for kids

Amazon released its latest lineup of connected hardware at a virtual event on Thursday, and also took the opportunity to address ongoing privacy concerns about its Alexa virtual assistant.

A new command, “Alexa, delete everything I ever said,” will wipe clean a person’s history of queries made to Alexa. Users can also turn on a new setting that will make sure Alexa deletes everything people say as they go.

The updated privacy features come after concerns were raised last year about Amazon’s practice of listening to and recording some anonymous queries to help improve Alexa’s performance. There was, however, an option for users to opt out of sharing their voice clips with Amazon.

“It’s a balancing act for Amazon between monetizing its golden customer base and heightened privacy issues as the regulatory spotlight on big tech gets brighter,” said Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities.

If

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Disney Plus is coming to Google Assistant smart displays

Starting today, Disney Plus’ library of TV shows and movies is available to stream on smart displays like the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max, Google has announced. Google says all “Google Assistant-enabled” smart displays will support the feature, which should include similar devices from JBL and Lenovo. Content can be started with a voice command, such as “Hey Google, play The Mandalorian on Disney Plus.”

Streaming Disney Plus on Google smart displays was possible in the past using the Chromecast-enabled Disney Plus app on another device to “cast” a TV show or film to the display. Now, it can be done directly from the smart display itself. You can use a voice command to start a piece of content playing, and Google says that the smart display’s touchscreen can be used to pause and resume playback, as well as skipping forwards and backwards.

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