5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

The Microsoft’s HoloLens, a mixed reality smartglass, is seen at Montapacking in Molenaarsgraaf. Photo: Getty Images.

Let’s check out the top tech news for Thursday:

1. Samsung tapped the creators of Siri to create Bixby 2.0. The electronics giant has rejuvenated its sometimes-maligned voice assistant by baking in technology from Viv, which was a startup acquired by Samsung last year after it was founded by the team that made Siri for Apple. The assistant will adapt and be customisable for each individual, meaning no two Bixbys will be the same.

2. Samsung and Google got together to fight the iPhone’s newest killer feature. Google’s augmented reality functionality will now be available to run on the Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note8 smartphones. The AR tech will soon allow Android users to virtually interior decorate rooms or even try on shoes – without a headset.

3. A dongle can turn all your dumb stuff into smart stuff. Samsung demonstrated a prototype of the device on stage this morning at the Samsung Developer Conference, which turned a normal speaker into one that you can talk to, whether it be to music or ask for the weather forecast. The dongle isn’t in production yet, is a preview to where Samsung is heading. Read more.

4. Xero isn’t touching Reckon with a barge pole, but wants rival MYOB to acquire it. The AFR reports Xero chief exective Rod Drury as saying Reckon would not really add much value, and a rumoured acquisition by MYOB would be merely to inflate its share price for majority owner Bain Capital to sell out.

5. Top business consultant Michael Wolf predicts augmented reality will become a $89.25 billion business. That’s just one of his numerous predictions for the future of the tech and media industries. He’s also bullish on smart speakers and digital assistants such as Siri. See his full epic presentation here.

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