As Voice Control Gets Bigger, Devices Are Becoming Smaller
One of the most significant developments in modern tech has been the rise of smart consumer devices. With it comes the idea of a “smart home” — one outfitted with remote-controlled, intelligent tools that can manage the household without manual input.
Smart speakers and home assistants have gone from future tech to standard fixtures for consumers investing in cutting-edge technology.
As more people buy into the smart home trend, these devices, speakers and home assistants are becoming more discreet — and are typically built with voice control in mind. Here’s how these changes could impact the future of the market and smart home tech.
The Rise of Voice Control and Smart Home Tech
Most modern voice control platforms are intended to work with a staggering variety of smart home devices manufactured by a range of developers. There are smart refrigerators, air purifiers, cameras and even home security tools like intelligent window and door locks.
Each of these new smart home products are internet of things (IoT) devices that use the web to transfer data and communicate with other smart devices.
They’re also designed to communicate with smart home assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Home, allowing users to manage them with voice control.
As a result, homeowners can outfit their living space with increasingly subtle and sophisticated smart devices. With the right phrase and tech, you can quickly adjust your home’s temperature or humidity, open your windows, dim the lights or set your air fryer to preheat.
Many modern smart home devices are built to blend in with architectural features and common household appliances. Guests may not even be able to tell that your house is full of them at a glance.
More recently, we’ve also seen the launch of new AI-powered home assistants, like Josh.ai. What sets these apart from traditional systems is their use of updated artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.
Josh.ai implements a kind of AI tech called natural language processing, which leverages artificial intelligence’s pattern-finding abilities to better understand what homeowners are asking for.
As a result, owners of the system can talk to their home assistant naturally. They could ask questions in plain English or switch up the nicknames they use for the device without running the risk of confusing their assistant or needing to rephrase their request.
How Advanced Voice Control May Transform the Smart Home
IoT is regularly included on lists of tech likely to shape the future of the industry. If current trends hold, smart home devices will become even more diverse over time — giving savvy homeowners more control over their house. Voice control will make these new devices even more powerful and convenient.
Industry observers and security experts have some concerns about the growing use of smart home assistants. Modern IoT devices are becoming more secure every year, but most are still vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals. If breached, they could provide easy access to a home network, personal data like passwords or even a direct line to private conversations.
Typically, a smart assistant will offload some of its computing workload by sending requests to the cloud. It leans on processing power accessed via the internet to “understand” user requests and control smart home devices.
As a result, every time you send data from your home to the cloud, you run the risk of it being intercepted or even altered in transit.
Some new voice control platforms solve this problem by handling most requests in-home. For example, the Josh.ai platform uses a combination of a central server and several remote microphones that you can place throughout your house.
The microphones listen for requests, while the central server handles all the intensive language processing. As a result, the system’s components are lightweight and don’t stand out as much as some other smart home speakers.
If modern devices continue to follow this trend of handling data processing on-device or in the home, smart assistant security may not be a real problem for homeowners.
The Future of Voice Control in the Home
Voice control is likely to have a big impact on the future of smart home technology. As the variety of smart devices increases, homeowners will use increasingly discreet platforms to have more control over their living space.
Some industry experts are worried about the potential security risks of smart home tech. However, IoT security is always improving, and new approaches to system management may minimize the chance of a network breach.