The battle now raging between the big technology companies for consumer cash is focused on Smart Speakers with integrated AI voice assistants. Having already conquered the pocket with the ubiquitous smartphone, big tech has been struggling to come up with the next must-have gadget that will open up a potentially lucrative new market - the home.
A pilot light was lit when Amazon’s Echo launched in 2014 and became a sleeper hit. The Echo is first a wireless speaker but is capable of much more and is now in its second generation with several variations available. Using nothing but the sound of your voice, the assistant uses natural language processing to play music, search the web, create to-do and shopping lists, shop online, get weather reports and dim your lights —all while your smartphone stays in your pocket.