As the internet continues leaping forward in terms of what we can connect to and how we can connect, it’s no wonder that voice-activated devices are in a place where technology has now caught up with what used to be only possible in the realm of Science Fiction. With smart speakers like Google Home, Amazon’s Echo, and the Apple HomePod, people are able to talk to a computer in their home, and connect to their homes no matter where they are.

The basics:

A smart speaker is a voice-operated device that uses an online assistant (like Siri or Google) to perform various tasks. Depending on what type of Smart Speaker you get, they can do thinks like:

  • Answer questions
  • Play music
  • Make calls
  • Read messages that you receive on your phone
  • Set alarms and reminders
  • Control your smart tv
  • Control lights (provided you have Wi-Fi enabled lights)
  • Control your thermostat (provided you have a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat)

And many more things, depending on your devices and their compatibility.

The types:

There are currently  three main players when it comes to smart speakers: Google, Apple, and Amazon. Experiences will vary as companies use different AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistants or their own AI.

Amazon was the first to pioneer the technology with its Amazon Echo device and its digital online assistant, Alexa. Since it has had more time to develop its technology, it has developed a wide-ranging catalogue of brand name affiliations and online apps to expand its capabilities.

Google Home uses its own AI, Google Assistant. One advantage this assistant has is the use of Google’s extensive search engine to help with any possible questions.

Apple uses its Siri AI assistant to be your guide to the world on their HomePod. Apple’s Homepod, as is tradition, is tied closely to its own brand in terms of compatible devices, but the SiriKit allows third-party apps to be incorporated into it.

If you’ve already purchased a digital assistant from one of the big three, here are some helpful links for set-up and support of those devices:

Amazon Echo:

Apple HomePod:

Google Home:

Articles visited for additional information: