Voice assistant devices are on the rise in 2017. From the Amazon Echo to Google Home, more and more technology companies are developing voice assistant devices for households. But what exactly are voice assistant devices, and why are they such a big focus for tech companies in 2017?
Talking the Talk
Voice assistant devices are a type of voice command device featuring intelligent personal assistant software. A voice command device is a device which can be controlled through vocal commands, while intelligent personal assistant software is a computer program designed to complete services and tasks for an individual.
A good example is Amazon’s Echo, a smart speaker that features Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant service Alexa. The Echo’s main function is audio playback; it can play music, podcasts, audiobooks, and provide weather and traffic reports and other real time information.
Thanks to the inclusion of Alexa, users can simply tell the Echo what it is they want it to do i.e. ‘Alexa play Van Morrison’. The idea behind voice assistant devices is to reduce the amount of time we spend staring at screens whilst also making it easier for us to find specific content and information.
Some of the notable things the Amazon Echo can do include:
- Make to-do lists
- Read the news aloud
- Numerical calculations
- Find restaurants and other places of interest
- Find recipes
- Order food
Similarly, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick will soon feature Alexa, enabling users to search, select and view video content through voice commands, in addition to controlling playback options.
Voice assistant devices are just one part of a bigger picture: the Smart Home. Companies like Amazon and Google are pushing the idea of a fully connected home wherein which you’re able to control every aspect of your home through vocal commands.
From heating systems to security to entertainment, it’s very likely that many aspects of our home life will be controlled through voice commands in the near future.