You have a smartphone, tablet, ultrabook, Smart TV and even a refrigerator that connects to the Internet. Did you think that your home was the latest in technology? No, you still need the next one: a Home Assistant (no to be confused with the cleaning personnel). Here in this post we will tell you what these devices are, what they are for, what are the main models and when they will be readily available in Spain.
Home Assistants: the gadget that will soon form part of the family
A home assistant is a device equipped with speakers and microphone, connected to the Internet and incorporates a personal assistant controlled by voice. With these three elements, it allows you to do a lot of things on the Internet with only voice: listen to your messages, search for information online, check the weather, play music, check your agenda, take notes, put reminders, etc. In addition, these devices are also synchronized with your mobile devices, computers and other smart devices at home, so that (if you have the necessary hardware) you can do things like turn the lights on or off with your voice or tell the heating what time it must be activated.
The market is so attractive (this year, the Canalys consultancy estimates that 56 million home assistants will be sold) that the main technological manufacturers are hurrying to present their own devices. In fact, today we can already have many of this gadgets at our homes, from an advanced cleaning robot to intelligent thermostats like those of our client tadoº.
Below you can see the three most popular Home Assistants:
Amazon Echo: the first of its kind
Amazon pioneered the launch of the first domestic assistant in 2015: Amazon Echo. It can be said that they invented the category, by creating a smart loudspeaker that incorporates the voice assistant Alexa which allows you to play music, ask questions and search information on the Internet, make calls, send and receive messages and, of course, buy on Amazon, using only the voice. It also communicates with other connected devices such as smart TV or smart thermostats. Available in several versions ranging from 49.99 to 229 US Dollars, Amazon Echo is currently the leading device in its category and is present in 10% of households in the United States. Amazon Echo is scheduled to arrive in Spain in 2018. Although the exact date has not yet been confirmed, it is said that could be launched the next Prime Day, the day of special offers for Amazon customers with subscription.
Google Home: on track to become the leader
The famous search engine presented its assistant, Google Home, in 2016 and at the end of 2017 launched the Google Home Mini (more basic) and Google Home Max versions (more powerful and addressed to music and multimedia lovers), with starting prices of 49 dollars. In combination with the Google Assistant personal assistant, this loudspeaker device which is already available in Spain, allows you to surf in the Internet with your voice, start playing music and videos and integrate with home automation devices such as Nest, the brand of smart devices that Google acquired in 2014. Google ensures that, since its launch last year, it has sold a Google Home device every second and the consultancy Loap Ventures estimates that in four years Google Home will be the market leader, surpassing Amazon Echo.
Apple HomePod: Apple’s answer
As usual, Apple has arrived almost two years too late to the party but wants to make up for lost time by offering a product superior to the competition. This is the Apple Homepod, an intelligent speaker launched in 2017 with which the brand claims to have “reinvented music at home.” How is it different from its rivals? To begin with, HomePod includes Siri, the famous personal assistant developed by Apple that for many is the best. On the other hand, as often happens with Apple products, its smart speaker is more powerful, faster and (dare we say) better looking than others. It allows you to access a mere 45 million songs in iTunes, it can learn from your musical preferences, is tactile as well as answer to the voice, you can search for information on the Internet and control domotic devices, etc. Of course, it also costs three times more than its competitors and only works with an iPhone or iPad and Apple services. This has meant that Apple HomePod sales are below expectations. At the moment, we do not know when it will be launched in Spain.
As you can see, the battle of the home assistants has just begun and soon other manufacturers will join in with the intention of revolutionizing our way of using technology at home.