Kind Of Smart Devices

Not all devices need to tap into the infinite knowledge of the Internet. In fact, for those with concerns around privacy or security, have a device with an Internet connection is a recipe for trouble. Who knows who’s listening, right? (for those who are concerned)

However, there are applications where voice is extremely helpful but the command set is predictable and limited. Timers are one of those applications.

“Hey Clocky, set a timer for 25 minutes” … “Cancel timer” … “stop”.

Even a basic timer that can only do one type of timer application is a big leap forward. One of the challenges of such a timer is whether it be battery powered so it doesn’t take up an outlet and if so, for how long. A wake word engine that consumes low power might allow the device to stay awake for more than a week. However, without needing to be connected to WiFi or Bluetooth, it could be possible.

Also, with a limited vocabulary, the device could require a regular microphone as opposed to one with beam-forming or acoustic echo cancellation technologies. This would drive the cost down further.

There’s still room for new voice hardware. Let’s hope a renaissance is ahead.



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Leor Grebler

Leor Grebler

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at