Smart assistants are fast becoming a standard in homes allowing users to command them to perform a task whether it be playing a favorite playlist, turning down the air conditioning, dimming the lights or setting a timer. But, with their functionality quickly growing, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be conversing with Alexa at the office, in a hospital or classroom. Amazon’s Alexa, the current leader in the voice powered devices, currently has over 15,000 skills and is gaining them quickly, up from just 10,000 in February of this year.
Smart speakers are wireless speakers with built-in voice control allowing you to command them to perform a task whether it be dimming the lights or setting a timer. The biggest players are currently Alexa (Amazon Echo), Google Assistant (Google Home), Siri (HomePod) and Mircrosoft’s Cortana followed by other manufacturers such as Harmon Kardon, Sonos, Sony and more. While the majority of these devices are meant to be home audio entertainment only, many of the top providers are integrating with popular smart home products as well as high-end custom installed home automation systems.
Integrating voice control into the commercial market
No matter where you are, the ability to turn lights up or down, change the temperature, change the volume or open or close the blinds without using switches or pulling out your phone or tablet, can be very useful. Imagine a doctor being able to request the lights to brighten because she is examining a patient or walking into your conference room and having the video conference system engage and lights turn on by simply uttering a few words, such as “Good morning Alexa.” A smart assistant could instantaneously pull up and display information in a conference room or even calculate percentages or spending, thereby saving precious time. Though this type of voice control hasn’t made it into the commercial market yet, at the rate of speed that these smart assistants are gaining new abilities, it won’t be long.