If you thought we’d have flying cars and at-home robots by 2018, you’d be partially right. These home assistants, however, take the form of automated digital devices – smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo.
Smart speakers have only recently touched down in Australian markets, but are they worth the hype?
What is an automated home assistant?
Simply put, a smart speaker is a wireless device that can help you perform various, everyday functions.
These capabilities depend, of course, on the kind of smart speaker you buy. Most, however, will play a song or answer a question when prompted, while others can actually go to work – managing tasks like setting a timer for your cooking, controlling your television, turning up the heat or dimming the lights. Smart speakers do this by integrating with apps and devices you’re already using at home.
While there are many offerings, the major smart speakers on the market include:
- Google Home,
- Amazon Echo,
- Apple HomePod.
Each are controlled by a different artificial intelligence (AI) assistant – Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri, respectively.
Could a smart speaker change my life for the better?
Sounds interesting, right – but can a smart speaker actually improve your life?
When used to perform everyday functions around the home, automated home assistants can definitely enhance your lifestyle. It’s also important to note that we’re only starting to see all this exciting form of AI can do. In future years, the capabilities will likely expand exponentially.
If you’re deciding whether or not to buy one, our advice is to spend some time monitoring your daily activity. Does manually opening your garage really irritate you? Do you routinely wish you could ask a virtual assistant about the traffic before hitting the road? If so, you could probably benefit from buying a smart speaker. Otherwise, you might be better off taking the old fashioned route.