Smart speakers are gaining huge popularity due to several new features that have made our lives easier and trouble-free. With just a command, smart speakers can now answer questions, set timers, play music, control other devices in the home, and also help children with their homework.
With the advent of technology and electronic gadgets, the world has become smarter. Technology has become a part and parcel of our daily lives, solving the intricacies of daily routines and making things trouble-free. Smartphones are considered to be one of the biggest innovations in the field of technology.
These have made our lives easier. Another popular innovation after smartphones is smart speakers. These have gained huge traction around the globe ever since the first Amazon Echo speaker was launched in 2014. With just a command, smart speakers can now answer questions, set timers, play music, control other devices in the home, and also help children with their homework.
According to a survey by Canalys, over 17.1 million smart speakers were shipped globally in 2018. To offer a tough competition to Amazon, their biggest rivals Google and Apple came up with their own voice assistant smart speakers such as Google Mini and Apple Homepod. Slowly, other companies like Marshall and Bose also entered the market.
Why do we need smart speakers?
Smart speakers are slowly becoming an important part of every household. These can solve several problems on just a single command. For example, if you say, “Google, I am home,” your smart speaker can turn on lights or TV.
Smart speakers and connected devices open the gate of possibilities for people who are dealing with limited accessibility, low vision, and more. Now, instead of physically switching on, you can command your voice assistant Alexa to run a hot shower for you. Tasks have become easier and trouble-free due to the introduction of smart speakers.
Which is the best voice assistant speaker?
Apart from Alexa and Siri, there are many other voice assistants available in the market such as Microsoft’s Cortana, Panasonic’s Arbo, and Samsung’s Bixby. Earlier, Microsoft had partnered with Samsung to launch a speaker with its own voice assistant Cortana, but it, unfortunately, failed to gain traction in the market.
Among all, Amazon and Google have huge trucks of data that can improve the voice processing systems and interaction. Most importantly, Google Assistant is furnished with human-like natural language processing. However, Apple’s Siri sometimes fails to understand people, mostly Indian accents.
It is comprehensive and human-like in its capabilities and responses. Works well with existing Google products such as Pixel phones and Chromecast line.
A highlight of Google-based smart speakers is that these allow you to send content to Google Chromecast dongles as well as control playback using your voice. It’s also very good at controlling first- and third-party smart devices over a Wi-Fi network, though responses are a little slower than Alexa and Siri.
Alexa by Amazon
Alexa is the only major assistant that isn’t tied to any existing product or software, allowing Amazon a little more freedom to partner with whoever it wants. The only problem is that you need to download ‘Skill’ kits for specific tasks and needs. Though useful, this can require a bit of work. Alexa features an intercom system that lets you communicate between Amazon speakers throughout the house like walkie-talkies.
If you have Apple products, Siri will work better. If connected to an iPhone, iMac, or Apple TV, it is trouble-free and seamless. The major problem with Siri is that it cannot understand Indian regional languages. The other impediment is that it often finds it difficult to recognise commands. And, as of now, it can only perform basic tasks.