Now the question that arises, more so for the technically non-savvy, is what the hell is Echo-Style Voice Control?
The Echo-Style Voice Control, initially developed by the online retail giant Amazon, in simple terms is a smart speaker which responds to the name “Alexa.”
The Amazon Echo, in its developmental stage, was referred to as Doppler or Project D. The device comes with a 9.25inch- tall cylindrical speaker with a seven –piece microphone array, and as already mentioned, responds to the name Alexa which is the default “wake-word.”
The wake-word is supposed to trigger the Amazon Echo and respond to your voice commands.
However, there is a provision available to the users to change the wake- word to either “Amazon” or “Echo” or continue using the default wake-word Alexa until you get tired of it.
Whirlpool, the American manufacturers, and marketers of home appliances announced on Tuesday that its new appliances will be compatible with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexia.
Without a doubt, a luxury of this type will come at a cost which one feels is justifiable considering the ease with which day to day chores can be done, and more importantly the time it would save in today’s world where time management is of significant importance. It could make a difference between being late for work or create a punctuality record at your workplace.
Think about just shouting out instructions to Alexia to start or stop the laundry, pause or play music, asking out the time remaining in the completion of a task ordered earlier, adjusting the cooking mode on a compatible oven, adjusting the thermostats of refrigerators and air-conditioners, and many such tasks without having to move from where you are at any given time – of course there has to be some level of proximity to the appliance or gadget you are giving voice commands to.
There are hundreds of third-party appliances and home gadgets that can be made compatible to the Amazon Alexia. Not only this, manufacturers themselves can make similar or even better versions of the Echo-Style -Voice -Control systems and give it a name of their choice.
In fact, Apple is rapidly moving ahead with their version of Amazon’s Echo-Style Voice Control based on its Siri voice system.
According to insiders who prefer to remain anonymous until the system is officially announced, Apple has moved out of the research and development stage and is currently involved in the testing of prototypes. Designed on the conceptual lines of Amazon’s Echo the Apple device has the capability to control appliances, curtains, locking mechanisms, lights etc through voice control.
The company that Apple is, it would make every endeavour to be a step ahead of its competition in quality and performance, if not in terms of time. If Apple’s product ends up among the consumers it promises to be its most significant piece of hardware since the 2014 Apple watch.
Another major company working on a similar device that Amazon certainly deserves credit to have started is Alphabet Inc. calling it Google Home.
As mentioned earlier, Apple in its policy of staying ahead of its competition is making every attempt to differentiate its voice device from Amazon’s Echo and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home with far more advanced speaker and microphone technology according to Apple’s insiders’ revelations.
The prototype tests over the last couple of years are taking into account facial recognition sensors, acquiring the facial recognition start-ups “Faceshift” and “Emotient” which are designed to enable the device to detect the person in the room and his/her emotional state.
In addition, the speaker would be able to process many other Siri commands made available on the iPhones such as voice commands to read emails, send text messages including tweets and many other futuristic additions like reminding the user that it is time to leave for a pre-scheduled appointment. However, these are talks by Apple’s anonymous sources and the authenticity cannot be confirmed or verified until officially announced by Apple.
Coming back to the amazing Amazon’s Echo-Style Voice Control it has received a rating of 4 out of 5 stars from CNET’s editors’ ratings involving 60 users’ review, and an overall 8.3 rating out of 10 taking into account features, usability, design, and performance.