From Google Home to Amazon Echo, smart speakers are hitting the market in droves. But while they seem like the next “must have,” what do they really do? And do you really need one?
First things first, according to WhatIs.com, a smart speaker is a wireless and smart audio playback device that uses several types of connectivity for additional functions. The original purpose was to wirelessly deliver audio content from your media library, i.e., songs from your Spotify playlist. Many have evolved, however, to now feature voice-activated digital assistants and to also be able to operate home automation programs. The term “smart speaker” now specifically refers to those speakers with voice control.
But how can a smart speaker improve your life at home? Here are just a few of the tasks you will be able to use it for (which will vary according to model and artificial intelligence (AI) used):
- DJ your next party. Place a few smart speakers in several rooms of your house, including your yard or patio, and have the same playlist piped throughout the entire expanse of your party.
- Control your audio-visual needs. Smart speakers may be able to end the madness of multiple remote controls, let alone the confusion regarding how to operate said remotes.
- Make you more energy efficient. A key component of your smart home automation, you can enlist your smart speaker in adjusting your lights and your heating and cooling system. When used wisely, this can help lower your energy bill.
- Organize your day. You can use a smart speaker in much the same way you use Siri—to remind you of items on your to-do list, appointments on your calendar, and give you directions to wherever you’re headed.
- Buy and sell real estate. An increasing number of apps will become available through smart speakers that will help you search for and buy homes in your area, contact real estate agents or visit open houses.
As with all technology, the applications and possibilities of smart speakers will only continue to evolve, so it might be worth taking one for a test drive.