Voice Assistants

Make life easier with smart voice assistants

Homes are getting smarter these days, which is making everyday tasks more convenient and fun. A voice assistant is a virtual assistant and a speaker, that not only plays your favorite music but also assists in managing daily tasks and creating routines for other smart devices in your home.

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What is a voice assistant?

A voice assistant is a compact, virtual assistant that is available on your smartphone, tablet, speakers and other smart devices. They have been gaining popularity and today, a wide range of connected devices come with built-in voice assistance. These integrate your smart home and allows for control of all connected devices, through simple voice commands.

Using wake words to activate your voice assistant

Smart assistants start actively listening to conversations only after the ‘wake word’ is used. A ‘wake word’ is a phrase that is assigned to voice assistants, to enable listening for the voice commands that follow.

What can a voice assistant do for you?

Play your favorite music: Turn a voice assistant into your personal digital DJ. Most of them support popular music streaming services like Amazon Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora and more.

As long as you’re subscribed to one of these music services, the assistant can play an endless number of songs. Some voice assistants can also recommend new music based on your listening history. Some can help you find that song, which you only know a few lyrics to!

Voice assistants allow you to listen to what you love, not just music. They can search and play on-demand radio, audiobooks, podcasts and more. All you need to do is simply ask!

Create shopping lists or shop for you: Forget about pen and paper to make shopping lists every time you step out for groceries. Use a voice assistant to start a shopping list and keep adding items, as you remember them. Running low on cereal? Just ask the assistant to add cereal on the shopping list. Once you’re at the supermarket, quickly access these lists on your smartphone.

Some voice assistants can also shop for you online. This of course, can be protected from children or guests by setting up a voice code. The assistant will place an order only after the code is used.

Respond to your questions: One of the best features of a smart assistant is the instant responses to any questions you may have. Simply use the wake word for your assistant and ask away. Once you bring a voice assistant home, it eventually becomes the central source for any information you need. Ask questions about the weather, movies, sports, music and more.

Integrate your smart home: Smart assistants work like a controller that integrates all the smart devices in your home. If you have a range of smart devices, simply pair them with the assistant to control them with your voice. For instance, ask the assistant to dim lights, lock doors, change temperatures on the thermostat or just turn on the TV, using your voice. Just pair all connected devices into the assistant’s app, sit back and enjoy hands-free assistance across your home.

How to pick the right voice assistant?

Language Processing Ability: Which assistant listens to you the best?

Voice assistants can only start listening to your commands, once the wake word has been used. While most of them offer the same level of linguistic competence, some can listen and respond to voice commands quicker and more accurately than the others. If you’re planning to use voice-control for a range of smart devices, it is recommended that you pick an assistant that listens and performs the tasks seamlessly.

Services/Integrations: Who is the handiest?

Compatibility with brands, services and existing devices should be checked before buying a voice assistant. Voice assistants generally work best with their own brand services and might not support services of competitors. Therefore, it’s crucial to look for an assistant that can actually perform the tasks, you would require assistance for.

Smart home integration: Who can run your smart home better?

A smart home starts with a voice assistant. It works like a hub that connects and commands connected devices in your home, to offer hands-free control for everyday tasks. While all of them can perform standard tasks, respond to questions or manage other devices, it is important to pick an assistant that integrates your home seamlessly. This depends entirely on the brands and services you use frequently. For instance, Android users will require a voice assistant that can integrate Google Assistant services easily. iOS users can pick an assistant that supports services from Apple HomeKit or connectivity via AirPlay. If you use Amazon services frequently, buying an assistant that is compatible with the Amazon Alexa system is essential.