The future of tech’s little helpers
With the ever-growing popularity in Internet of Things gadgets, we’re looking at where we’re likely to see Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby next. The ragtag gang may have started life in our phones and smart speakers, but what’s the next stop for these handy little helpers of the tech world?
Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant, debuting on the Echo speaker. It’s since made its way to various smartphones, and the rest of Amazon’s smart tech range - Echo Spot, Echo Show, and Echo Look.
If rumours are to be believed, we could soon be talking to Alexa through an Amazon-made version of Google Glass. An article in the Financial Times reported that the specs wouldn’t have a small screen, like Google’s version, but would let you chat to Alexa without headphones, instead, running the voice directly into your skull through a series of vibrations.
If that’s not enough crazy for one day, we’re also likely to be shopping with Alexa too, if Amazon’s cashier-free stores go worldwide. The first unmanned Amazon Go shop is now trading in Seattle and invites you to come and go without ever having to interact with another human. Simply scan in with your smartphone, pick up your groceries, and walk out. Mind-boggling concept covered in the video above.
Siri is probably the best-known in the list above. It’s called iPhone home since 2011 and is now firmly established as Apple’s one and only assistant. In fact, a report from Business Insider UK claims that Siri is now used by a staggering 500 million customers worldwide, including The Rock.
Nowadays, you’ll find Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. But, as of this year, there’s a new contender in the ring - HomePod, Apple’s brand new smart speaker (on pre-order at Currys PC World now). The smart speaker will be the perfect addition to Apple fans’ homes and promises crisp music quality as well as the ability to connect to other smart tech.
Where Siri will end up next is anyone’s guess, but we’d put money on Apple continuing to develop its smart home division.
Although relatively late to the party, Google Assistant is quickly finding its way into lots of different tech. It’s already on a variety of Android-powered smartphones, most notably Google’s own Pixel devices. And of course, you’ll also find it in the Google Home speaker range.
Bose has recently put GA into its QuietComfort 35C II wireless headphones, and it has a home on a lot of Android Wear smartwatches. But what’s the next stop?
We wouldn’t be surprised if the likes of Tesla (or some kind of Google-made car), would adopt Google Assistant into the smart central consoles. Letting you, one day, have your car drive you home, while Google takes a ride along, too.
Samsung’s Bixby came to the fore last year with the Galaxy S8 smartphone and has its own dedicated button on the side of the device. This proves Samsung isn’t likely to ditch the virtual assistant anytime soon and has big plans for the future.
As you probably know, Samsung lends its names lot of other technology, including TVs, fridges, washing machines and wearables, to name just a few. And many of them, if not already, are able to connect the internet. Samsung’s vision is to have Bixby present on all these home devices, letting it seamlessly take care of everything, with your smartphone acting as the central hub.
What do you think about the rise of virtual assistants? A simplified future that saves the human race time, effort and energy? Or a nightmarish, bleak dystopia, in which they take over and become our all-seeing overlords? Drop us a comment below.