There are a few areas where home automation and voice control still have a ways to go. Once these gaps are bridge, it’s like that both voice and IoT will be able to quickly propagate to even the luddite fringes of the market:
Setup process. Even if it only takes five minutes to get things up and running, multiply that over the number of devices that need to be connected (each lightbulb or switch), it becomes a pain. Connectivity also causes a big headache with routers dropping Internet connections. Perhaps there’s a way we can “pre-trust” certain types of devices to connect to our networks?
Voice calls. It doesn’t appear Google Home will have this feature when it starts shipping next month, but being able to more easily stay connected with friends and family is a much bigger enhancement. Google has all of the infrastructure to put this into place with Google Voice. This would be a big enhancement to the Amazon Echo if it were too able to received or place calls.
Automatic automation. One of the problems with so many IoT devices is that they require programming and scheduling. An Internet-connected light switch might as well just be a glorified timer with a browser interface. The problem is that scenes need to be set to control multiple devices or to be triggered after specific events (like geo-fencing). Automation should happen automatically. Look at my calendar, make some assumptions, and correct for incorrect assumptions (e.g. lock the door when I leave the house). This can be extended to subscribing to specific Alexa Skills.
Email and messaging. This appears to be coming to Google Home but would be a great feature for the Echo as well. Being able to dictate short emails or let friends/family know about something going on is incredibly helpful. We experimented with this for the Ubi and what was very unique was our integration of UbiCC and the Ubi as well as our SpeakChat app. You could dictate into your Android device and have the recording come out at home, like an intercom.
I’m hopeful that we’ll see these features rolled out en masse in the next two years.