While they can’t seem to agree on a final number, experts are predicting that anywhere from 24 to 50 million units of Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers will be sold by the end of 2017. That’s a pretty impressive growth rate, particularly for products that haven’t been on the market for that long. The reality is, people everywhere aren’t just accepting smart technology as part of their lives, but they’re embracing it wholeheartedly.
As a result, there is inevitably going to be a marked change in how we carry out everyday activities.
Let’s take a look:
Manage life with the power of voice
The beauty of Alexa and Google Assistant is that it’s like having a personal assistant at the ready who is always on, always ready to jump in and act on whatever command is sent their way. And those commands have never been easier to issue. With a few spoken words, consumers now have the power to manage their lives, their schedules and their homes. Check your agenda for the day, adjust the lights or thermostat, lock the doors, call an Uber – the list goes on and on, and it’s growing at quite a clip.
Smarter kitchens for everyone
Another area of our lives where smart technology is making a significant impact is in how we interact with food, whether it’s cooking, purchasing groceries, planning meals or even ordering takeout. For instance, you can ask Google or Alexa to communicate with various cooking sites, such as the Food Network, to instantly locate and send a list of chicken recipes to your personal email address. You can also have your smart speakers create grocery lists that you can add to as you run out of ingredients in your home. Don’t have time to cook? No problem. Just say the word and pizza’s on its way.
Shopping made easy
The internet has already made shopping almost effortless, but the smart speaker has taken it a step further. Now you can simply tell Alexa or your Google Assistant whatever it is that you want or need and how you’d like to proceed, whether it’s simply creating a shopping list or locating a merchant, or adding items to your virtual cart, completing checkout and having your goods shipped right to your doorstep. Several big name brands have already jumped on board, including Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart and Home Depot. And, of course, Alexa has the Amazon marketplace cornered.
Bring your hobbies to the next level
What are your guilty pleasures? Traveling, listening to music, watching TV or catching the latest blockbuster movie? How about all of the above? Smart speakers are making it so easy to indulge. Connect your devices to any of the popular music services, like Spotify, Pandora or iHeartRadio and stream your favorite tunes. Search and play TV shows or movies on your television or any of your connected devices. You can even have your “virtual assistant” help you plan your next vacation. Track ticket prices, compare hotel options or book a flight. You can even get customized trip suggestions based on your budget.
Whether you already own one of these smart devices or you plan on becoming one of the millions more who will be jumping on the bandwagon over the coming months, one thing is for certain. At some point, hands-free voice technology is going to change all of our lives in one way or another.
How has Alexa or Google Home impacted your everyday life? What’s your favorite feature? Please share in the comments section below.