Voice Control for One And All: It’s Here, Are you Ready For It?

Voice control has become a new standard for our daily lives. We see it in media consoles, smart devices, automobiles, office environments and more. Some manufacturers partner on one platform while others embrace a larger audience on a completely different one. Most provide a similar concept of assistance, but others excel in the experience — and isn’t that what it’s all about at the end of the day, the experience?

Initially I thought that voice control would be another trend that would fade away. The horizon of future tech that will emerge in its place, but it’s growing at a rapid pace and we’ve adopted it into our lives. Sure, there’s concerns about privacy and security, but isn’t that to be expected with all the major hacks of data breach and sales of info; it’s the world we now live in so be prepared for things to happen, as they can and will. Voice control another dream from the creators of sci-fi, brought to reality. We’ve witness voice control on shows like Star Trek, the Jetsons, and much more. From these shows, we’ve taken note, and created the future and implemented it across the nations.

Between, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana and various of digital assistants like Josh.ai for example in the professional grade smart homes arena, there’s something for everyone’s needs; Let’s discuss:

  • Alexa: Amazon stole our hearts with Alexa, its digital assistant. She smart, fast, has a personality of her own and plays well with others. She’s fully capable of controlling smaller IOT devices, but can only handle one account right now at a time. That being said, she’s extremely popular and often the assistant of choice in most applications. She’s so popular that many manufacturers have embedded her and specifically chosen her as the digital assistant of choice to be baked into their smart devices, like the Sonos One or the Ecobee Switch+. There are now amplifiers made to power and distribute Echo dots across a home and have them within a in-ceiling speaker shaped housing; the custom AV market loves Alexa.
  • Siri: Apple’s virtual assistant isn’t great by comparison, but can control your digital life from an iOS device, some newer Mac platforms and the company’s new HomePod. She is getting better, but again, only can handle one account at a time. Apple also has HomeKit, but it was so poorly under-developed that many manufacturers had already made their choice for Alexa of the Works with Nest program, by Google.
  • Google Assistant: Google’s digital assistant is rapidly expanding across platforms, works really well with others and can handle multiple user accounts. It obviously work with Nest products, there’s many things it can do, it has a laundry list of partners who use this platform as control for their products, and to take things to the next level, it can integrate with IFTTT.
  • Cortana: Microsoft’s assistant, formerly exclusive to XBOX and using a different trigger phrase, has gotten worse and less responsive in my opinion. She’s aimed at the Microsoft suite teams of people who have a Microsoft-branded smartphone or computer. She really is meant for Microsoft apps and integrations, which is great…. but very limited in the grand scheme of control. Will Cortana branch out to more than its home turf? Time will tell — but will you wait to find out, or will you already be deeply impeded into the competition?
  • Josh.ai: Josh provides luxury voice control for the most advanced homes in the world. Josh used to rely heavily and solely on other microphones; the company still utilizes them today, just now it has its own microphones, like Josh Micro. For more details about this voice control startup for the Custom integration market, listen to my interview with Alex Capecelatro, CEO of Josh,ai, here on AV Insider.

Each digital assistant can add a ton of value to our daily lives when used correctly, and each is slightly different. Each can control your stuff on some level, while others deeply embed further into your lives at home and at work. Some play better with others, and some have yet to fully develop enough to be substantial as a choice of primary control within their environments. There’s also other digital assistants on the market, but they not as advanced as the aforementioned ones.

How do you choose which is best for you, and how will they be implemented in your spaces in which they’ll be used? It’s best to read up on each option before making a decision on how best to proceed. This category is evolving daily, and usually for the better. Although, not everything needs to be controlled by way of voice commands. Take something simple, like the process of turning on your TV, a media service, some and playing all back with speakers at an appropriate level of audio. Now imagine trying to tell Siri, Cortana, Alexa or Google to do this. Not so simple anymore, is it? Josh.ai excels in multi-taking voice commands, while its peers do not.

Voice control has a long way to go, and it’s still in early phases of design and implementation, but it’s developing rather nicely. So since there’s so much more to discover and learn about voice control, I’ll leave you with some thoughts and questions:

  • Voice control is here, but Is it a viable solution for your needs?
  • Which one will best services your lifestyle? Is there one better for you at work and at home?
  • Is it convenient enough for you to use it, or will it just be another technology fad? 

Who will be the victor and is it worth your time to invest into the competition now, knowing we are still in early development of what is and isn’t possible?

These are all questions I intend to answer here at rAVe Publications, so if you have questions, we’ve got the answers. You can send any tech related questions, and or stories to me here, and I’ll answer them in the form of a blog, or maybe I’ll do it my podcast, AV insider.