Was Inspector Gadget your childhood hero? If the answer to that question is yes, then you most likely enjoy a host of smart home options in your humble abode.  Among the most popular in 2017 is the voice controlled artificial intelligence (AI), better known as smart speakers.

The smart speaker market has boomed massively in the last 18 months.  Google released a smart speaker with its own voice assistant built in. Amazon has two versions of it’s Echo and recently released it’s G2 model with great exterior style options.  Sonos offers One, and Apple’s Siri-controlled HomePod will likely be a hot new item this holiday season.  Other options are available too and the competition keeps growing. It looks like this latest technology trend is fully underway!

But what exactly is a smart speaker?  What can you do with it, and should you buy one?

What are they?  Let’s keep this definition simple.  Smart speakers are wireless speakers with voice control and artificial intelligence built in. They are a type of voice controlled personal assistant capable of responding to a wide array of voice commands and questions. Oddly enough, one might be tempted to say that a bit of personality may have been built into these devices too!  More on that later.

What can you do with a smart speaker?  Lots of things!  Typical uses in our house are, “Alexa, what’s today’s weather?” “Alexa, set a timer for 20 minutes.” “Alexa, kitchen lights on.” "Alexa, order a pizza.” And, when there are little ones in the house, the most popular one is, “Alexa, tell me a joke.” Of course, there are hundreds of other options too, like book an Uber, create a shopping or to-do list, answer trivia questions, and more. The device is word triggered.  All you have to do is say the magic word (In our case it’s “Alexa” with the Amazon Echo) and your smart speaker will wait to hear the rest of your command.  The devices currently on the market vary with the AI built into it so depending on which one you purchase, they will work in slightly different ways with different apps and services. A popular use for smart speakers is streaming music via Bluetooth, AirPlay and/or wi-fi.

Often, when we can’t decide what type of music we want to listen to, we let our smart speaker choose for us.  We speak the command, “Alexa, play something good.” And, based on our past music choices, Alexa will (almost) always make a better choice than we would have if we’d done it ourselves.  But, there was this one time (and here’s where the personality mentioned above comes to play) when Alexa responded with “I can’t find any good music.” We were pretty surprised to hear that answer, and as a joke we asked her if she was in a bad mood.  She replied, “I think I am.” Okay, that was a little creepy!

Should you buy one? For the price of the device along with its many uses, the answer is a definite yes!  It doesn’t take long for your smart speaker to become engrained into your daily routine making your life more convenient and entertaining.

If you’re looking for a new home in Central Florida to fill with gadgets like smart speakers, give me a call.  All you need to say is, “Tony, find me a new home.”, and I will!

Contact me anytime: 407-922-9011 | Tony@TonyDavidsHomes.com