Amazon’s Echo and its ever-expanding list of rival smart speakers have brought the consumer electronics industry the sort of growth it has not seen in years — but analysts predict the surge may be short lived.
Talking to a computer can feel liberating — as anyone who received an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device for Christmas can attest — but only until you ask the wrong question and the machine plays dumb.
DIGITAL assistants such as Siri and Cortana are increasingly common on phones and computers. Most are designed to give their users the impression that a humanlike intelligence lies behind the program’s friendly voice.
My Google Assistant is many things, but it’s mostly a meteorologist. I work 40 miles from my apartment, and the Bay Area’s many microclimates mean I’ll experience several weathers between my door and my desk.
APPLE HAS A reputation for entering markets late—think portable music players or smartphones—and then blowing away competitors with a superior product.
YOU PROBABLY DON’T have a landline phone, because it’s not 1995. But you miss it sometimes, don’t you? Knowing where the phone was all the time, having something anyone could pick up and use, avoiding the rock-paper-scissors over who has to waste their cell phone battery calling Dominos.
The consumer IT giants — such as Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft — have all invested heavily in voice technology. Analyst Gartner estimated two years that 30 percent of our interactions with technology will be through ‘conversations’ with smart machines by 2018.
IF YOU’RE NOT already having conversations with a cylindrical speaker sitting on the kitchen counter, you will be soon. AI-powered devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are poised to invade tens of millions more households this year. Here’s a guide to getting the most out of these futuristic household minions.
VOICE-POWERED SPEAKERS LIKE Amazon Echo and Google Home have carved out a place on kitchen counters and nightstands in countless homes. What makes their immense popularity all the more remarkable is that they’ve achieved it without a key feature: Knowing exactly who’s talking.
When the singularity is reached and our robot servants finally turn on their human masters, future mecha-historians will point with metal fingers to 2017 as the year it all began.
Google has removed audio about the movie Beauty and the Beast which played out unprompted on Google Home. “By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast opens today,” the smart speaker said after listing the time, weather and travel update.