As Facebook are reportedly about to release their very own Voice Controlled device for the home, we delve into the ever growing market and ask “Voice Controlled Homes, are they simply a gimmick or the future?”
SO…WHAT IS VOICE CONTROL?
Voice control refers to a device controlled purely by the human voice. Simply say the ‘trigger’ word and the device is ready to respond. From music requests to news updates, the latest football scores to weather forecasts, all you need to do is ask.
In regards to Smart Home Integration, adopting Voice Control into your home can give you the seamless ability to control your lighting scenes, lower blinds and shutters, adjust your thermostat and even turn on your TV, all of which without you having to lift a finger.
A Brief history of voice control
Voice control may not be as new as you think!
The technology was first formed over 200 years ago, and has been on quite a journey –
Since Google launched its first voice search app back in 2008, Apple and Amazon have made the technology common place within the modern family home.
What can you do with voice control?
The skills set of these devices is advancing week on week, below are some of the more common and widely used uses for the device.
- Control your Smart Home – Integrate your device with Control systems such as, Lutron Lighting, TV and Home Cinema and Sound Systems. Voice Control can replace your current control interface.
- Talk to your appliances – Samsung Smart Fridge Freezer, Nest / Hive Home thermostat. Appliances are now being designed with future proofing in mind. It the not so distant future you will be able to ask you Dyson to start hoovering, your microwave to start cooking and your iron to start ironing (fingers crossed)
- Your in home DJ – It can link seamlessly with all major streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. Giving you instant access to millions on songs.
- A Wealth of Knowledge – Assess to all the information available on the Internet, Just ask
- A helping hand for those with disabilities – Locking and opening doors, Controlling lighting, Shopping and Home Deliveries. In the right environments with the correct programming Voice Control can be a much needed (virtual) helping hand
- Your own Personal Assistant – Create reminders, Make shopping lists, Set alarms and Check the traffic, who doesn’t want a personal assistant?
The Key Market Players
No Voice Control device comes without its limitations, Understanding tone, regional dialect and verbal pauses (like, umm, but…) seem to be the products main bugbear. As the device ‘learns’ this should be an issue that is able to resolve itself over time.
When unsure however, the device dose tend to ‘guess’ what you are saying, which can lead to interesting interpretations such as…
“Words like Euthanasia, which could be heard as Youth in Asia. Or, if you say give me a new display, it could be understood as give me a Nudist Play.”
Privacy and Data protection
“66% of users surveyed are concerned that companies are listening to their conversation” As both Alexa and Google Home are always listening for their ‘Trigger Word’ the microphone is always on. Which begs the question, what else are they listening too…
With Facebooks data breech making the front pages recently, this may alert these companies to be a little more transparent with the information they are gaining from there in-home devices.
When Alexa goes rogue!
There are a number of story’s online recalling times when Alexa has used her own initiative and got things wrong! This story however includes a VERY happen Kindergartener, her parents on the other hand weren’t too pleased with the outcome.
The Story doesn’t stop there
The mishap snowballed when a San Diego TV station reported the story, using the “wake word” Alexa. Several viewers called the station to complain that their own Alexa had woken up and ordered more doll’s houses in what turned into a thoroughly 21st-century comedy of consumer errors. And a bonanza day for ‘KidKraft’.
Alexa gets the ‘Majik’ Treatment
Alexa is cleverer than you may think! However this intelligence is not simply learnt, it is programmed. Majik Houses expertise can control Alexa to become your smart home interface, if you want Alexa to “turn on the Night-time scene in the games room” she can! Or “Turn off the sprinklers in the back garden, she will!”
Majik House is constantly exploring the possibilities of Alexa and her counterparts. At this moment in time it is still not as reliable as a touch screen or remote control, however the future is promising and the possibilities infinite.
Tour a Smart home with Alexa
What’s next for voice control?
Voice is the Future, there’s no doubt there. The Worlds technology giants are clamouring for vital market share. With predictions that 50% of all searches will be voice searched by 2020. Amazon are working on new developments for Alexa including pushing lots of financial backing into developing the intelligent AI feature. In the future Amazon are hoping that Alexa will be able to hold a 30 minute conversation, all with the desire to create an AI that learns from you.
Human Integration & Emotional Attachment – As human beings we crave intimacy, and the ability to forge more personal connections. In a recent study it was found that 66% of voice control users in Singapore have admitted to having ‘fantasies’ involving their voice assistant!
Do you want to discover what Alexa can do for you and your home?
Book an appointment to come and experience the possibilities of Smart Home Integration at the Majik House Showroom.
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