The famous Star Trek phrase “Beam me up Scotty!” may not be so far away when we consider the advancements we have made in Technology since the time the legendary series was made.
Japan is already way ahead in the development of robots that can help around the house so it doesn’t seem too strange that we have the likes of Amazon who have created their popular ‘Amazon Echo’. This cylindrical wireless speaker is 23.5 cm tall and is also a voice command device that responds to the wake-word “Alexa”.
Apple already has ‘Siri” but it does have its limitations when compared to Amazon’s smart speaker. The Echo’s “Alexa” can help around the house by remembering important dates, creating task lists, doing internet searches, providing weather forecasts, playing music, setting alarms, listening to audio books and it’s also built in the cloud so it can share information with other devices.
Designed to fit seamlessly into your life, you can ask it to read you the morning headlines, play your latest podcast or even dim your lights when you’re going to bed!
It’s currently not available outside the U.S., but has proved so successful that Amazon has just released their “Amazon Echo Dot” which is the new streamlined version of the original but half the price and half the size.
This doesn’t impact on the device’s intelligence however, and as with the original Echo, you wake it by talking to Alexa, the always-there, always-listening virtual assistant. As with the original Echo, Dot connects to the cloud to perform all of the usual activities, get the news headlines, connect your home up…
Now the word is that Google are working on a ‘secret project’ to rival Amazon’s Echo, and Google will be a tough competitor considering their own machine learning and speech recognition software.
This is a great time for Google to get involved in the smart speaker software market as they have just announced the launch of a new speech API, called the Google Cloud Speech API which they’re opening up to third-party developers.