24-04-2017 02:47 PM - edited 24-04-2017 02:48 PM
So do you use a Voice Assistant, and which one?
Over the last few years we have started seeing the inclusion of Voice Assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant included on many phones. Recently, some of the biggest tech companies have started a war to see who can win control your living room using their technology. Each player has adopted a different approach, but it is clear. Voice is the next big thing.
4 of the major global tech companies, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple all have their own voice assistants and Facebook has recently indicated that voice interaction will be the next big way of interaction that will replace the humble keyboard and mouse and even the touch screen.
The early leader of the pack seems to be Amazon's Alexa enabled Echo and Dot. These little devices look like portable bluetooth speakers, and are constantly listening for the magic word "Alexa" to wake up and do your bidding. Commands range from asking Alexa for the weather to playing your favorite song on Spotify to buying an ebook for your Kindle. Statistics show that Echo owners spend over 10% more at Amazon since the purchase of their device. Not bad for sales!
With the Connected Home and IoT (thats Internet of Things) exploding, competition is hot. The race to win you over to a providers ecosystem is intense because once you commit to a Smart Home Hub and purchase various smart devices, you are not likely to change any time soon. Each ecosystem has differing strengths. As Ai or artificial intelligence takes centre stage, these voice assistants are taking centre stage to control your home by voice. Ai is improving in leaps and bounds and these Assistants lists of skills are growing ever longer. Voice assistants are being integrated into all sorts of devices. You can now even reply to an email from your Apple Watch while driving. Just holler "Hey Siri" and start giving the order.
Soon you will be able to brew a rich cup of Colombian coffee, order your groceries, stream the latest episode of Game of Thrones and order that delicious little Thai dish with Uber Eats all from the comfort of your lounge. Just call your favourite assistant.
on 24-04-2017 02:57 PM
I am looking forward to seeing where this tech will lead! I currently have an Android phone as well as an iPhone. I tend to think Google has the upper hand on Apple's Siri here. Google has also released the Google Assistant on their flagship phones and Im sure it will come to SA soon. You cant easily beat Google in search so I think they will be togh to beat.
I also have an Apple Watch and when driving, I really find it useful to be able to send a WhatsApp message using Siri, or set reminders and calendar items while driving to work. I really hate seeing those drivers all over the road and you just know they are texting because you can see their heads tilted down in their rearview mirrors.
As for controlling my home? Bring it on. Speech recognition is so good now. I think it will be awesome to do some things by voice. It might be a little embarrasing when Siri reads out your latest messages in front of everyone at home, especially the ones from the boys after a night out