Voice Assistants: A Boon Or Bane Of Smart Homes?
The Nest Learning Thermostat was released nearly a decade back while the Amazon Echo was launched a few years later. While the initial attempts were very basic, the IoT devices have picked up since then. Voice control has made a lot of progress as well. In fact, Alexa has integration with over 100,000 devices today.
These two approaches to the smart home space are necessarily in conflict: automation aims to cut your daily tasks at home, while voice assistance changes the device to fulfill them, creates an instance of your active role in them. At the moment, Alexa and Google Assistant are leading the way.
A smart home is a great concept. Routines and learning behavior are excellent ideas, but true automation is beyond smart lights and sensors. That is something Alexa aims to achieve.
The vice president of Smart Home, Daniel Rausch, told me that they wanted Alexa to become a utility company in the home, not unlike electricity or water, available in almost every room, optimized for your comfort and accessibility.
Google, for its part, is working on pretty much the same thing. Alexa Guard offered important insight into the future of VAs at home. The function heard thefts, automated the smart lights to create a feeling of an occupied house, and even communicated with the security systems in place. This was a pleasant surprise. Even the smart kitchen has a lot of potential. While connected homes have come a long way, there is some much more yet to explore.
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