While it won't likely replace existing screen-based search, voice search is already enough of a factor that businesses need to understand strategies for being found this way. Another important finding is that smart speaker owners are using the devices to manage their homes. Owners who make their home "smart" say they most often connect smart speakers to control home lighting, the thermostat, home security systems, and outdoor lighting and sprinklers. Will one part of our home be controlled by Google, another part by Amazon, while an Apple device plays out TV and music?
A new report claims Facebook is planning to release a smart speaker in 2018. Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo Show does feature a touchscreen display, but that only measures 7 inches. Richardson also worked for Amazon's Lab126 as its principal technical manager, and is believed to have worked on Amazon's Echo smart speakers. Research firm Strategy Analytics reported that worldwide smart speaker shipments reached 5.9 million back in 2016, 4.2 million of those were shipped during the fourth quarter of the year.
The patent was filed by Building 8, Facebook's secretive division that focuses on developing consumer hardware. This kind of device has already been experimented by Google for years for its Project Ara smartphone. Smart speakers are currently gaining a lot of attention thanks to Amazon's Echo, the Google Home and Apple's HomePod, so it makes sense that Facebook is interested in making its own. The technology described in Building 8's patent was developed by Nascent Object.
If a patent Apple was recently granted is any indication, a product with some of those features could be coming sometime in the future. The patent, which was spotted by The Verge, describes various designs for a device that could serve as a dock for "a portable electronic device" (an iPhone, obviously) outfitted with microphones, processors, and wireless energy transfer capabilities in some iterations. Siri integration is also outlined in the patent, although it's described as being "a voice recognition mode of the portable electronic device," rather than a built-in feature of the dock. A wireless charging, Siri-connected smart dock could be more appealing to consumers than Apple's upcoming HomePod, the premium $349 Siri speaker dropping in December to take on Amazon Echo and Google Home.
The company that brought you the Yoga Book has big plans for an artificially intelligent smart-device future -- plans that it will reveal at the June 20 third annual Lenovo Tech World conference in Shanghai. "We believe an intelligent future makes people's lives better, and that starts with smart devices," a spokesperson wrote in a press release. "Cloud enabled devices – such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, smart speakers, smart TV and AR/VR – bring you content, services and experiences in a new way." According to the company, this is "an intelligent, interactive speaker, to do more – it recognizes sounds, objects and delivers AR experiences.
It seems as though the company was forced to delay the feature because it had trouble with Bixby understanding English due to lack of data. With Bixby seemingly late in the game, it's completely understandable that Samsung is doubting the marketability of releasing its own smart speaker. Google followed with its Google Home speaker powered by the company's own voice Assistant. READ: Apple Siri vs. Samsung Bixby: iPhone Assistant Is Ahead In User Adoption Despite Lagging Behind In Tech In South Korea, Samsung is also facing some competition.
It can be difficult to view the rise of voice assistants as a whole as more voice assistants and their smart speaker devices enter the market. Microsoft's text-based virtual assistant, Clippy, showed us how natural language in text could be tracked, interpreted and used as a basis for interactive feedback. Then in 2014, Amazon introduced the Alexa voice assistant and Echo smart speaker. As you can see, the number of milestones increases significantly after Alexa's launch, ushering in what we call the Smart Speaker revolution -- and the birth of Voicebot.ai.
While Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Samsung Bixby are squaring against each other by offering different features, Amazon Alexa is on a different track altogether. Unlike Apple Siri which made its journey from a smartphone to a smart speaker, Amazon's Alexa did quite the opposite. However, as compared to voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Apple Siri, Alexa's performance is far from being perfect. In fact, users need to download two apps -- Amazon Alexa and HTC Alexa to make the voice assistant work on Alexa-enabled phones such as HTC U11 and Huawei Mate 9.
It's been more than two years since the Amazon Echo smart speaker was released in the United States, and Amazon is believed to be debuting a successor later this year. A new report claims that the Amazon Echo 2 will look similar to Apple's HomePod. It's possible that Amazon intends to improve the microphone technology on the new Echo smart speaker by improving the software and acoustic modeling. The direct successor to the Amazon Echo might look very similar to the Apple HomePod.
If you've been contemplating purchasing one of Amazon's voice-enabled Echo smart speakers, now is a particularly good time to pull the trigger. The standard model will cost $89.99 Amazon's portable Tap speaker will be selling for $79.90, a $50 markdown. Here's a brief look at how they compare: Who it's for: Shoppers looking for a decent living room speaker with smart speaker capabilities Amazon's standard Echo is ideal for those who want a smart device that can double as a speaker for playing music. The Show supports free video calling between other Echo owners and anyone with the Alexa app installed on their phone.