Voice Enabling the Connected Home


Voice as a key enabler of smart home success was a common theme of CONNECTIONS™ 16. Brett Sappington, Senior Director of Research for Parks Associates, cites presentations from companies, such as Amazon and Rovi, that focused on how the voice-machine interface is becoming an important way of communicating with smart home devices.

He points out that from a human standpoint, people are becoming used to interacting with devices via their voice. Entities, such as Amazon with Alexa, are creating platforms that make it easy for the relatively rapid development of useful applications by third-parties, creating a network effect.

It goes beyond simple communications, however, as cloud-based, artificial intelligence is beginning to add context, allowing for much more useful and rich interactions than simple command and control requests.

It is this layer of intelligence and context, that, as Sappington suggests, allows voice (and other human-machine interfaces) to bring together all the disparate parts of the connected home. For instance, someday a person might say something liike, “Alexa, I am leaving now.” and Alexa, knowing the temperature at its master’s destination, would provide a gentle reminder to bring a coat.