It is no joke when we said the home has become a fierce battle ground for connected technologies, and 2017 is the year of the smart speaker. Already this year most of the well known brands have announced dates for release or plans to develop their own smart speaker solution. Therefore, I can see a smart speaker being high on the shopping list for Christmas 2017. Underneath the elegant and smooth designs will be one of four voice control systems Apple Siri, Google Assist, Microsoft's Cortana or Amazon Alexa. We have gather them all here for you to have a look and hopefully help you decide.
Mercedes-Benz has join a long list of car manufacturers that are offering car owners the connected car experience. They have announced that their new 2016 and 2017 models* will come with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. The integration of Google Assistant on Google Home, will allow you to speak to your car, said Mercedes-Benz. The new services, said the manufacturer, is part of their long-term goal in using cutting edge technology to create an intelligent ecosystem around their cars.
Depending on the smart appliance you buy you are also making a decision on what communication protocol you want to use. With the growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) it is even more important because we want all of the devices in our homes to be able to communicate with each other securely. This is on the backdrop that there are many protocols for the home at the moment. To add to the complexity or to simplify things a new protocol 'Thread' has been introduced.
I don’t know if you knew but I didn’t see this coming, Google might send averts to us via our appliances. In a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) they highlighted the possibility of serving ads and other contents via our refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, watches plus others.
I must say hearing that Google has bought Nest comes as no surprise to me, what surprise me is the fact that they are buying so many home related solutions and then we hear nothing after. We waited with bated breath when they buy these businesses and introduce new concepts and are left high and dry, because we see no change to the norm.
Ford has collaborated with Habu music app, ADT, Domino’s Pizza, Parkmobile and Parkopedia to offer more solutions to their in-vehicle mobile app platform SYNC AppLink. Drivers will be able to use the voice activated and touch screen solution to request service and manage other connected appliances.
Google seems not to have given up on making a much bigger impact on the television and home entertainment market than it did with the Google TV. Their latest attempt is Chromecast TV, a television dongle that transform your ordinary TV into one that can connected to the internet directly and smarter. Chromecast TV is Promises to be a simple and intuitive solution to having a smart TV and only priced at US$35.
Installing new IT gadgets at home can be a complicated issue and especially WiFi devices, they sometimes add to the frustration of networking the devices at home. Despite the grief and frustration we experience, WiFi is still popular just because it offers the flexibility and convenience to access the internet from anywhere in homes rather than stuck in place. According to Strategy Analytics, “A Quarter of Households Worldwide Now Have Wireless Home Networks”, the developed world has over 50 per cent concentration.
When Google announced that they were acquiring Motorola Home, I thought they would use it as a vehicle into the connected home market. They then launched the android@home initiative which I think would further cement their position. I held that opinion until last month when they said they have sold Motorola Home to ARRIS for $2.35 Billion in cash and stock.
It was never meant to be a competition in the way it has turned out, but there is a battle brewing between the two leading smart device operating systems (OS), Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Whether by design or co-incidence, Apple devices now play a major role in facilitating home automation; I would go as far as saying apple has now added home automation to its already established cool computing and entertainment solutions. Following very closely behind Apple’s iOS is Google’s Android platform as a possible option.