Your smart home appliances once had barking orders just as a hobby appearing in old-fashioned sci-fi movies, and no one does it in real life, right? Wrong.
Wise speakers with built-in voice assistants have been in high demand over the past six years since the Amazon Echo first launched, and it is now the main way many of us interact. with our tech.
In the past year, market research institute GfX reports that sales of smart speakers rose 61%, more than ever before, making it the most popular smart home appliance of 2020.
According to GfK, voice control has gone from gimmick to primary school how we interact with our smart home appliances. The development of how natural voice assistants have certainly grown has made voice control more appropriate. Gone are the stilted tones, almost like a robot in favor of a more rhythmic, human-like delivery. They can give you information about your daily meetings, give you the news or answer your burning questions. This frees you up to do other things, saving you valuable time.
They are more rounded these days too. Search by Loop campaigns, out of 800 questions asked by voice assistants, Google Assistant understood all of them and answered 92.9% correctly, while Alexa understood 99.9% and received 79.8 % correct.
Finally, Siri was able to understand 99.8% of the questions and managed to answer 83.1% correctly. A year earlier, those numbers were 86%, 61%, and 79% respectively.
Most of us didn’t like to talk about something illegitimate when smart speakers first launched – in fact my friends and family and I weren’t in the same boat.
I was convinced that I was still the type of person who preferred to type an application for Siri on my iPhone, and quietly slipped into my Apple Watch for fear that I would be wrong to reporting on Buzz Lightyear.
But recently I realized just how much time a voice assistant saved me. Saying just one word; “Good night”, to Alexa turning on my TV in the living room, all the lights downstairs, and arming my interior security camera, without running around flicking switches.
Now I have a number of smart speakers in my home and I talk to them regularly, as they are the main way to control everything from smart lights to video doorbells. So how did home voice control go from being so reluctant to accepting it that way?
More time at home
Last year, obviously, we saw more time than ever at home. According to a study by Yale, eight more hours per day were spent at home, 46% up on 2019 when the average was nine hours.
Apparently many people were looking to find things to fill their time with, and as consumer spending on technology went up – research by Deloitte, revealed that 21% of Brits bought at least one new device during the pandemic – smart home technology seems to be one of the solutions.
Also, for the tech-shy speakers, there are some of the simplest tools to engage. In addition to the setup, which requires a smartphone, everything can be done with your voice or by using the mute button on the device itself.
Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri have come a long way when it comes to having a more natural conversation over the last few years, and this seems to have contributed to more people being buying smart speakers.
First, they had to use their wake-up call, or the phrase that made them jump to action, for each question you asked.
However, they have now learned that they have ongoing conversations that don’t have to shout ‘ALEXA’ or ‘OK, GOOGLE’ for each different request. Of course, these days it’s not uncommon for one of the Amazon Echos in my home to wish me a nice day when I chat with him.
Similarly, I always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when I talk to Alexa, as the more natural voices instantly erupt towards me. standard chat tickets.
Voice assistants are self-taught so they continue to get better. In fact, Amazon is already using artificial intelligence to anticipate the different phrases and answers you might use when asking Alexa a question, so that it can answer your question to successful at not wanting a fixed phrase to be spoken.
Smart speakers always listen for their word or phrase, and record your request once you have used that word or phrase until the time comes. process your request and respond correctly to it.
Also, new ‘behavior-related’ capabilities are being developed so that you no longer have to worry about that pesky voice usage. Alexa can also proactively control your smart home devices based on your previous requests and behavior, through a feature called Alexa Hunches.
That, coupled with the fact that smart speakers are always listening, throws a number of privacy concerns and for many that could be a reason not to have a voice-powered device in your home .
However, in addition to physical buttons that cut the power to the microphones, and in the case of smart displays, on – device cameras, it is now possible to ask voice assistants to erase the recordings they have made, which their removal through privacy could frighten some at least.
The last reason, and most likely, that we are talking to our devices more, is that we are buying more of them. Smart speakers were relatively expensive when they first came on the scene.
The original Amazon Echo cost $ 180 / £ 149.99 / AU $ 230 when it first launched compared to $ 99.99 / £ 89.99 / AU $ 149 for the Amazon Echo (2020). Similarly, Google Home was $ 129 / £ 129 / AU $ 199 when it launched in 2017, but the Google Nest Audio replacement costs $ 99 / £ 89 / AU $ 149.
Of course, you can pick up the smallest smart speakers like the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Nest Mini for as little as $ 20 / £ 20 / AU $ 34. Thanks to Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day, these smart speakers often get discounts throughout the year as well – we’ve seen them drop as low as $ 9.99 / £ 9.99 / $ AU $ 17.99 – which definitely makes them more attractive .
The rise in the popularity of voice assistants has come as a surprise, but it’s clear whether you like it or not, they are here to stay and find their way into your home through one machine or another.
So it’s time to learn to live with them or whether or not to disable them, otherwise you could get away from your sweet dream because the assistant is a voice you have chosen to respond to your night suggestions.