The Evolution of Voice Assistants

Today, 16 percent of all Americans own a “voice assistant.” They are commonly known as cute little speakers that you can talk to and command to accomplish basic tasks. Among these speakers the most popular ones are Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, but how did these companies convince us to purposely set up little spies in our homes?

Siri launched in April 14, 2011 as a “voice assistant” in Apple’s iPhones. This was a gimmick at first since functionality was limited, and basic commands such as making calls were the only available features. Nevertheless, Google was quick to develop their counter to Siri, which we know today as Google Assistant. Google quickly gained ground, integrating their assistant into phones, Chromebooks, and of course, the iconic speakers. Amazon followed suit with their new

Soon, these companies started to make products with their voice assistants integrated into them. Google put their assistant in every Android-based phone, as well as their lineup of speakers called “Google Home”. Alexa was integrated into Amazon’s own line of speakers called “Echo” and “Dot”, as well as e-readers, and recently made deals with brands such as Bose to integrate their assistant into high-end Bluetooth speakers and headphones. Samsung’s Bixby is currently integrated to every new Samsung phone, and since 2018, there have been refrigerators and washing machines with the same software, creating a complete, full-circle ecosystem in people’s homes. In Samsung’s vision of the perfect home, an individual would be able to talk into their phone before getting home, have their laundry done and dried, the AC turned on, and have the ingredients needed to make dinner prepared to simply be taken out.

Following this trend, for CES 2019, Amazon made a deal with Kohler and made a toilet that could clean and flush itself on command. The future is here.

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