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Smart Speaker Basics

Smart Speaker Basics
Steve Kelley, CVRT, CRC, CATIS

The following notes may be downloaded as a LP Word Doc titled Smart Speaker Basics.

  • Digital assistants are software or artificial intelligence, and may be on different devices. For example, you can find Alexa, the digital assistant on the Amazon Echo, Kindle Fire, in the Alexa app on an Android, etc.
  • Smart speakers are pieces of hardware that contain a microphones, speakers, and a digital assistant:
    • Amazon Echo
    • Amazon Dot
    • Google Home
    • Google Home mini
    • Apple Home Pod
    • Sonos One with Alexa and Google coming
    • JBL with Google Assistant
  • All speakers require wifi network and public wifi networks do not seem to work well or at all

Unique Features of the digital assistants

Apple Siri

  • HomePod is great speaker
  • For the Apple world only
  • Very limited outside the Apple world
  • Unique setup

Google Assistant

  • Native to Google Home and Google Home mini
  • Can call a number based on a request, “Call the Iris Network on Park Ave in Portland.”
  • Phone calls by contact or number
  • Conversational questions
  • Google Play Books
  • Choice of voices male/female; at least one is slower in rate than the others
  • Currently plays radio stations on TuneIn but not podcasts

Amazon Alexa

  • Native to Amazon Echo line
  • Book reading includes some Kindles and Audible
  • Text messages
  • Phone calls by number or contact

Tunin Content Available on Amazon Echo and Google Home

Free Audio Book of the Month Podcast

Guardian Audio Edition


Radio Reading Services

KPBS Radio Reading Service

Column One

Down East Radio Reading Service




Owl Radio

Reading for those who cannot see

Mountain Area Radio Reading Service

Asheville News

Triangle Radio Reading Service

We breathe words into your life


Serving All Of Georgia

Print Radio Tasmania

Turning Print Into Sound

Sight into Sound radio reading service

Turning Sight into Sound

The Sight Seer Radio

Audio for Independent Living

Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley Radio Reading Service


Radio Talking Book Service

Nebraska’s Audio Companion

WJCT Radio Reading Service

WJCT. Your Community. Your World.

CRIS Radio/Windsor

Audio Access for People Who Are Blind or Print-Challenged

IOWA Radio Reading Information Service

Des Moines, IA

WQCS Radio Reading Service


Voicecorps radio

Audio Access to the World


Seeing the world through the voice of another

Northeast Radio Reading Service



Peach Fuzz

Radio 1RPH

Turning Print into Sound

Audio Journal

An Affilate Of TIC Network

Lexington Radio Eye

Your Eye on the Written World

Eastern Kentucky Radio Eye

Your Eye on the Written World

Louisville Radio Eye

Your Eye on the Written World

Morehead Radio Eye

Your Eye on the Written World


Sydney’s Radio Reading Service


Community Radio for Kenosha & Racine

FBConline Radio

Making Lives Meaningful


Bringing the printed word to life!

Radio Illusion 89.7 FM

We love hearing from your all fans Illusion fm 24/7


Reading Radio For The Blind And Print Handicapped

Minds Eye

Sight Becomes Words









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