No, it’s not the smart speaker as hardware, but it is the market that is showing some interesting developments across the board. It is expected that, by 2022, the smart speaker market would reach US$5.5 billion (source). Starting with already popular Amazon Echo (since 2014), followed by Google Home (in 2016), smart speakers could be the most talked about tech gadget this year. Guess who’s next? It is Apple HomePod (coming up in December, 2017) that would probably arrive with some breakthrough specs, asking for more than double the price of Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Smart speakers are holding some bright promises in our virtual life. With net-connected speakers working as your voice-driven online search vehicles as well as music stations, it is taking many of our on-net activities by freeing our hands and engaging us in a voice-interactive way. What’s more, Amazon Echo can be integrated with so many smart home apps like voice activated household switches and what not! On the other hand, Google Home is also competing in this segment with search and music services, along with more functionalities that are on the way. Surprisingly, Apple Homepod has a unique design that is different from the rest of the crowd. Like other smart speakers, it uses AI (artificial intelligence), however, it goes an extra mile by making the sound adaptive to your room! So Homepods are likely to sound great, with clearer and crispier sound no matter whether they are played in big or small rooms.
And the surprises are not over yet. Facebook is planning to ride this speaker bandwagon by offering a smart speaker in 2018, coming with an integrated touch screen that can also act as our visual workstation. Oh, did Amazon Echo Show just do that by offering its speakers with an integrated screen? What a pre-emption! It would be interesting to see who will ultimately win this race of offering big and bigger ideas for our future virtual needs.
photo credit: amazon.com
(Disclaimer: this post is merely an observation of a market phenomenon. It does not imply or sponsor any endorsement for any specific brand).