A whirlwind trip to IFA revealed a lot of the same things. A dizzying amount of 8K TVs, headphones, iPhone cases, batteries, and even appliance. Lots of coffee makers and lots of coffee consumed. After hours of walking the show floor, everything starts to blend together.
However, of the dozens of shows I’ve now been to, this one had the largest concentration of voice devices and announcements being made — indicating that the wave of voice devices is about to hit.
Here’s a quick summary…
Alexa Voice Service
I was surprised to see at least three Chinese speaker makers demoing WiFi speakers that had AVS push-to-talk functionality. It was impressive. There was also tons of interest among speaker brands to integrate in upcoming devices.
The biggest showing was the integration of LG’s SmartThinq with AVS. Originally, it had appeared that LG wanted to create their own service but now they seem to have embraced Alexa.
Sony Xperia Ear
This was a device straight out of Her that was a voice interactive ear piece. The ear piece has a gyro and other sensors and is meant as a voice only interface. Sony seems intent on making their new Xperia AI available on all Android hardware and it’s possible they’ll open it up as an API.
Voice Interactive Robots and Appliances
At least two instances of new voice interactive devices were on show. One was the Mykie Home Connect robot that was displayed by both Siemens and Bosch.
Vestel, a Turkish appliance company, was also showing voice control of a washing machine through its companion Android app.
In her keynote address at IFA, Harriet Green, GM, IBM Watson IoT, spoke about their work to build voice into Local Motors’ Olli vehicle.
This was definitely a new implementation of voice where users could control the driverless car and ask for information.
It’s very likely we’re going to see even more devices out over the next month. We’re inching towards my bet of 36 by year end…