The year started on a good note when it came to technology and innovation. International CES, the four-day annual show, took place and let us tell you things seem to be looking up in the ‘Smart home’ front. Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, and Google voice assistant are making the concept of connected devices even more appealing and seamless. Both the U.S. giants are working to bring life to the objects with these voice-driven AIs and, this paves our way into a future with our home likely controlled by a voice operating system.
It mainly began with smart speakers, Amazon Echo and Google Home, which allowed users to speak voice commands to interact with services through their respective voice assistants. The speakers came along a number of integrated in-house and third-party services that enabled them to perform a number of activities including home automation.
Well, what’s not new? The souls of Alexa and Google Assistant are all set to make other devices come alive. Google came to CES for the first time and this made it completely worth. Its voice assistant has been incorporated in some screen-equipped speakers like Lenovo Smart Display, JBL Link View and, LG WK9 Wireless Speaker. Google’s smart display functionalities facilitate support for voice calling, integration with Google Photos and YouTube support.
On the other hand, Google has bowled Android over, as of Android 7.1 Nougat, it comes equipped with the assistant.
Amazon, however, seems to be preferring its own range of display-touting smart speakers with Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Show already on the market. This, however, does not mean, it’s not partnering with third-party manufacturers.
It can be discovered in an iDevices new Instinct Light Switch, First Alert’s OneLink Safe & Sound Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm and Speaker, and also Anker’s Eufy Genie smart-home speaker. Not only this, it marks the debut of voice-controlled AI in a 4K-projector, Optoma UHD51A. Acer and Asus have given the green signal to their laptops coming with Alexa.
This is not all, various car makers are bringing voice assistant integration for their upcoming models including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Panasonic, Ford, Volkswagen among others.
Samsung had been working on its own assistant, Bixby, for a while as well. It didn’t seem to have made much of an impact. But, at CES, it announced the integration of Bixby in its smart TVs and Family Hub fridges slated to release this year.
The companies seem to be engaged in a battle of making as many voice-driven AI devices as possible. For that, they are venturing to make ties up with the makers of the most commonly used hardware – speakers, cars, phones, laptops. This will see a rise in the scope of operating smart home appliances with their voice. Well, let’s see, how it all turns out in favor of whom? In any case, the consumers, we would say!