Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Proliferation of Alexa and Other Voice Activated Devices

As devices such as Amazon's Echo become a common feature of one's home, one wonders how the growing network of cars, fridges, phones, TVs etc. with voice controls will all be able to communicate to one another in a way that makes them practical for the user. As competitors attempt to get their own voice activated devices into our homes, one can see how it quickly will become a confusing world where different devices require different keywords, languages etc. In order for many devices to work seamlessly, it seems to me that there will ultimately need to be some sort of central hub that monitors all devices and communicates commands between them.

Amazon is know for their long term strategy so I wonder how they are planning to address this in the future. Although the success of Amazon's recent move towards brick and mortar retail stores has yet to be seen, there clearly seemed to be a long term strategy of gaining market share by forcing all other bookstores out of business and then returning to brick and mortar. I wonder if getting Echo's in our home is just the first step in a much greater strategy to create a voice activated hub that could lead to sales of everything imaginable. As I stated before, having a network of voice activated devices that do not communicate with one another will slowly halt the proliferation of such devices. On the other hand, if Amazon (or someone else) can create a central hub, there will be no turning back.

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