HashTag Trending – Apple acquires Silk Labs; Amazon pushes Amazon Pay; lots of Black Friday deals

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Apple buys AI startup Silk Labs; Amazon wants to integrate Amazon Pay in restaurants and gas stations; and we highlight a few Black Friday deals.

Trending on Reddit. Apple has acquired the AI startup Silk Labs, possibly as a strategy to help develop the Apple HomePod home assistant. While machine learning isn’t new to home assistants, doing it locally on the device is. That what Silk Labs’ Sense hub was supposed to accomplish before it was shut down in 2016 despite raising over $150,000 on Kickstarter. The idea is to give peace of mind to privacy-focused users. This could hint at Apple’s intent to better its offline AI capabilities.

Trending on LinkedIn, Amazon Pay is expanding its presence in physical stores, challenging the well-established Apple Pay and Google Wallet. The e-commerce giant is looking to integrate Amazon Pay into gas stations and restaurants, in other words, areas that don’t directly compete against Amazon’s retail business. Though digital wallets are slow to grow in North America, it’s extremely common in Asia. Its prevalence in Asian markets provides a preview of its potential, and Amazon is certainly trying to establish a strong presence early in the running.

Black Friday is upon us, and that means it’s time to splurge. If you’re into smart home tech, the third-gen Amazon Echo Dot is on sale for $34.99 on Amazon. Similarly, the Google Home Mini is also on sale for $35. In addition, the Google Pixel 3 is $200 off in the Google store. There are tons of deals going on all over the web, so tell us what you’ll be buying in the comment section.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Subscribe to us on Apple and Google Podcasts. If you enjoy Hashtag Trending, we’d really appreciate it if you could review us on iTunes. I’m your host Tom Li. Thanks for listening.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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