For most people, their first smart home device will be a smart speaker. It makes sense that you will buy a device that can control others before you invest in smart lights and appliances. The current market leader in the smart speaker space is the Amazon Echo. A lot of people who bought the original Echo also bought Echo Dot’s to complement the device and place around the house. In fact, most reviewers rate the Echo Dot as the best smart speaker because it is cost-effective, compact, and has the same functionality as the larger Echo. A lot is going on in the smart speaker space at the moment, here are some highlights:
Amazon will release several new Alexa-enabled devices this year. There is the Echo Plus, the Echo Spot, the Echo Show, and the new Echo. All of these devices form a complete line-up of devices that hit every price point and feature. Some devices are touch-enabled while others are voice-only.
Apple will start selling the HomePod, its smart speaker powered by Siri. The initial focus is on the integration between the HomePod and Apple Music. Apple is looking to the millions of Apple Music subscribers as an initial market before making the device more smart-home capable.
Even Samsung is jumping into the smart speaker market. “Maybe soon we will announce it. I am already working on it.” Says Samsung Mobile president DJ Koh. Samsung acquired personal voice assistant Bixby which powers the assistant on the S8 smartphone.