Personal Voice Assistants & The Smart Home
With the improvement of voice assistant technology and an increasing amount of household devices being developed with wifi connectivity, we are living in the age of the smart home. Many tech giants are working on their own versions of this technology – Apple has Siri, Google has the Google Assistant on many Android phones that connects to Google Home and Chromecast, there is Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant on the Echo devices, Microsoft has Cortana and Samsung has developed Bixby and SmartThings. These are becoming more used in daily life as most modern smartphones include a voice assistant, and the home technology is becoming more affordable every year with the introduction of the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot. Voice assistants are becoming so used so frequently, it is estimated that by 2020, 30% of all web browsing will be done without a screen.
Personal Voice Assistants
These personal assistants are becoming more sophisticated to be able to listen, understand and respond to a persons’ question in a natural manner. Rather than a person having to take out their smartphone and type in a Google search, choose a result and read through the answer; they can ask Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri who will immediately read the answer or instructions out loud, allowing people to get quick and easy answers to their questions without stopping their current task. They can also perform other tasks like sending a text or email, checking calendars, reading the weather forecast or looking up directions and warning users about heavy traffic on their routes.
Smart Home Entertainment
In a household with a Google Home and a Chromecast plugged into their TV, a person can tell Google what to stream on the TV and it will respond immediately by finding their show, movie or playlist and casting it onto the TV. For example, you could tell Google to “Play Stranger Things on Netflix” and it will put your current episode on the screen – this can also play videos from YouTube or music from Spotify, Google Play Music or other services. Families will never have to search for a TV remote again to change what is playing on the screen!
The Smart Home, Energy Efficiency & Security
Having a variety of wifi connected devices creates a smart home environment where many things can be controlled remotely through a smartphone or by voice. Nearly any household device or appliance is now available with smart connectivity, with the most significant being smart thermostats such as Nest, Lyric & Ecobee, that allow homeowners to adjust the temperature settings of their homes while they are away to save energy. Connected lightbulbs can change colours, be dimmed and turned off remotely, and there are even smart motors for blinds that can be scheduled and controlled remotely to let natural sunlight in the home or to block it out. There are also smart doorbells, locks and security cameras which allow homeowners to see who is at their door and remotely unlock the door for friends, visitors, contractors or delivery people. Now wifi enabled plugs like WeMo allow anything that is plugged into them to be turned on or off remotely by turning off power to the outlet, truly creating a smart home environment.
We are now living in the future with personal assistants in our pockets and will soon be exploring the internet without even looking at it or having to read. For business owners, now is a great time to make sure that the content of your website is optimized to be read by search engines to ensure that the people who are asking their assistants to look up your product or service will be told about your business! Get in touch with the Web Geeks to get your website up to today’s standards and optimized for search.