Thinking about the home over the next few years, we’re going to see more voice devices disappear from Echos and Homes and into more objects. So where will we find them and other voice first interfaces?
Stereos. Many third party device makers are coming out with Alexa-enabled or Google Assistant embedded devices. These will out number first party hardware devices from Amazon or Google very soon.
TVs. More TVs will have the assistants built into them. If not in the TVs themselves, in their remotes. This will likely be standard among major manufacturers. Expect Bixby in Samsung hardware.
Wall switches. Of course… power is available, they’re throughout the home. In the kitchen, they’re at mouth level. Whether it’s dimmer or rocker style, more device makers will come out with these.
Wall outlets. Power is easy to come by here so it’s another good spot. We had thought about this for the Ubi but why not be built into the plug itself, like USB ports. This will prevent the device from being called a “wall wort”.
Thermostats. Ecobee is taking the lead here. Honeywell had something similar. Setting a thermostat can be scary so voice is a good approach.
Lamps. Desktop or side lamp, lamps are close by and have power access. The GE “Eye of Sauron” Sol lamp is an example of playing with color indicators in a lamp.
Picture frames. It might seem tacky if it’s for a small frame or a family portrait, but what about wall art speakers? If you’re listening to music through it, it should be voice interactive.
Stoves/Fridges/Dishwashers/Washing machines/Microwaves. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Stoves — great for controlling settings (not for turning on but for turning up/down or off). Fridges — ordering food or adding to grocery list. Dishwasher — a tougher appliance given noise but should be controllable. Washing machines — similar but ordering more detergent or saying the cycle type. Microwaves — “hydrate level four please”.
Toys and dolls. Yes, not just with Alexa/Google Assistant versions that are child-friendly but also with their own personality. Scout the Dog, Teddy Ruxpin, Hello Barbie, Toymail, and others are one or bi-directional devices. Kids are already talking to toys — why not help out? *Batteries not included. **Avoid hacking nightmares. ***Do not feed after midnight. **** Do not allow to learn from Twitter.
Doorbell / doorbell cams. With Amazon’s acquisition of Ring, this seems like a perfect spot. Alexa can be the butler or Google Assistant / Duplex can shew away unwanted visitors.
Webcams. Google Assistant is already available in Nestcams. Alexa is in Echo Look. These devices already have built in microphones and speakers for two way communication. Why not add an assistant as standard?
Flower pots. Especially connected ones. First, to inquire about the status of the plant but then to access all the other features.
Books and games. Already, Alexa interactive books are being developed but what about having microphones embedded directly into the book to make the experience that much more convincing? Same with board games that no don’t need screens for interaction.