Voice Assistants: The Foundation Stone of Every Smart House.
Updated: May 3, 2020
In the era of modern technologies spoken language remains the most effective way to communicate between people. But what about communication with our smart devices? Thanks to the voice assistant we can easily control our house or car . The most popular technologies in this regard are Echo or Alexa (from Amazon), Google Home, Apple HomePod or Siri, Samsung´s Bixby, and Cortana (from Microsoft). But, we will see that the “smart speaker” itself is not yet a smart home.
Voice assistants have been on the market for only a few years, but are becoming part of everyday life, especially in the US. On average, there is one smart speaker installed in each US household. And the market is growing by tens of percent each year.
As per eMarketer´s forecast for 2019 it is expected that 111.8 million people in the US will use a voice assistant at least monthly, up 9.5% from the year before. (Source: eMarketer, May 2019, US Voice Assistant Users and Penetration)
Indeed, the most wanted voice assistants originated in US companies. Apple HomePod or Siri (introduced to the world of 2011), Cortana from Microsoft (2014), Amazon Echo or Alexa (2014), and Google Home (2016). They all support English, but other world languages are expected to be supported soon.
The best voice assistants must be able to communicate with others
The voice assistant has a tangible hardware part - a loudspeaker that can be put into operation by a layman. But the smarter home we want, the more we need IT, developers, to program the necessary software.
The most popular voice assistant in the US is from Amazon and frequently comes out on top when compared with other similar devices . It is able to communicate well with many other smart devices, which is crucial in more complex systems. Let us give you an example of how a voice assistant can work.
The voice assistant has a tangible hardware part - a loudspeaker that can be operated by anyone. But the smarter the home we want, the more we need IT specialists, to program the necessary software.
The loudspeaker itself will serve well if we just want to listen to music , but if it is to work as a smart assistant throughout the home, it needs extra features and connected devices. The "Alexa Skills" range already exists, such as Car Connect, thanks to which we connect Echo and the car to make sure from home: "Alexa, ask CAR if I locked it." - Then Alexa answers if we have a locked car. On the Amazon website, we can see that this “Skill” achieved a perfect user rating. But some devices from manufacturers do not have such developer support.
But, what if we want to add an Alexa "Skill" that nobody has already programmed? In this case, we can either code ourselves or need a trusted IT specialist.
The ideal smart home works according to its owner's wishes, so it is completely secure, with the right temperature, controls for lights , etc.
Alexa voice assistant then serves as a mobile application or wall button to set up extra requirements. For example if we want to prepare a sauna, play a new movie in a home theater, or create an atmosphere for an unexpected party.
“I tried voice control when I was in Las Vegas, at a local hotel. I was thrilled. I want to have such an assistant at home, in Prague ”says entrepreneur Martin Fedor. “I was looking for a company that could integrate the whole house through voice control. I couldn't find anyone competent for a long time,” the Czech businessman continues. Finally, he received recommendations to our company Smarteon Systems.
Voice Assistant: Supplier and Medic
Like any instrument, Alexa can be just a toy or even a counterproductive device. But it could help the smart user to live a richer life and work better.
Smarteon's Tip: Health Monitoring
The voice assistant can monitor your mailbox and calendar, book a restaurant, order from the shop, search Google for information, or communicate with health monitoring devices to measure your blood sugar levels. The possibilities are almost limitless, depending on your interests and your imagination.