The first in a series taking a closer look at Arrayent’s Top 10 Predictions for 2017.
No. 1: IoT in 2017…will continue the trend of voice control ruling the smart home, but it will also start an epic battle between digital assistants.
VOX POPULI, VOX POPULAR!
There is widespread agreement in the industry that voice will become a leading user interface to control smart home products. Although Siri from Apple debuted in 2011, Google Now in 2012, and Microsoft Cortana in 2014, the Amazon Echo personal assistant with its Alexa voice interface has captured the hearts, minds, and arguably the leading position within the smart home for 2017. As we have reported, the Amazon Echo showed its strength over the holidays and just about ruled at CES 2017 with more than 35 new products incorporating Alexa control. Since the Echo debuted two years ago, Amazon has sold more than five million units. VoiceLabs research predicts that 24.5 million ‘voice-first devices’ will ship in 2017.
We all know the fight for dominance over smart home voice control has only just begun. Google Home launched only last fall and controls a small but growing list of partners, including Google’s own Nest, Samsung, Philips lighting, Honeywell and Belkin Wemo. Siri can control Chamberlain’s MyQ Garage door opener, Honeywell’s Lyric thermostat, iDevices electrical outlets, and door locks from August, Yale, Kwikset and others. But Apple HomeKit seems to be lagging behind because of a difficult approval process, and only muffled sounds seem to be heard from Microsoft Cortana on the sidelines. In our view, manufacturers of connected products will need to include compatibility with one or more of these voice systems to capture appreciable market share. And like drafting in a stock car race, choosing the right leaders to fall in behind can ensure their product will also be one of the top grossing winners.
CLOUD-TO-CLOUD INTEGRATION WILL ACCELERATE ADOPTION
As for Arrayent, we are starting out the ‘year of voice control’ strong with the launch of our certified Arrayent EcoAdaptor Developers Kit (DevKit) for Alexa. Not far behind it will be our EcoAdaptor DevKit for Google Home. Our EcoAdaptor DevKits provides consumer brands with a quick, easy, and inexpensive route to bring voice control to connected products. Arrayent’s EcoAdaptor framework and open API make it simple to adapt to new voice control systems that enable brands to evolve their products’ user experiences over time. By using Arrayent’s EcoAdaptor service, brands don’t need to worry about the next new ‘shiny object’ in the smart home with which they need to become compatible. Arrayent provides an alternative for businesses who don’t wish to become expert in cloud software development, helping them efficiently manage the digital transformation that is facing every business. We do that work on behalf of our customers and allow them to continue doing what they do best, make products!
You can read more about our EcoAdaptor for Alexa here, and be sure you are subscribed to our blog, newsletter and social media feeds as we expect to chronicle many future developments for consumer IoT voice technologies throughout 2017.