A smart speaker is a device that works on voice commands and comes with an in-built virtual assistant. Using voice recognition, smart speakers can decipher commands and act upon them. Usually, a smart speaker will listen to interactions and wait for a wake word for activation.
Brands like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc manufacture smart speakers, with each using its voice recognition system. For example, Microsoft uses Cortana, Amazon Echo has Alexa, and Apple uses Siri.
Smart speakers have gained immense popularity in the ever-evolving world of technology. Around 53 million Americans possess at least one smart speaker. Smart speakers help us in various tasks, like controlling lights, ordering products online, providing time, date, and weather forecast, etc. Smart speakers can easily be termed as virtual assistants.
We do not need to live in a smart home to use a smart speaker. Virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa can help us in various ways without making us lift a finger. Below mentioned are a few uses of the increasingly-popular smart speaker.
Replace Old Speakers or Enhance Them:
We can either replace our speakers with a new one or add a device that has an Aux connection to them. For example, an Amazon Echo Dot device can be connected to our old speakers. The speakers will provide us with the output while the Dot device will enable us to change music through voice commands.
Use the Speaker Instead of a Remote:
An example of this is Alexa. We can enable Alexa or use a FireTV Stick along with an Echo Dot to give voice commands to our TV.
As an Alarm Clock:
Using simple commands like “Alexa”, or “Hey, Siri”, followed by our request, we can enable our smart speaker to either set up an alarm or a reminder. The smart speaker can be used as an alarm to wake up every day, a reminder to have that medicine we keep forgetting about or a timer for our oven in the kitchen.
The Google Home speaker has another useful feature. We can ask the speaker to remember where we have kept something, only to have it remind us when asked. For example, we can ask Google to remember that the passport is in the top drawer. In the future, when asked about the passport, Google will have an answer ready.
Use It as a Landline:
Smart speakers are usually wired, which means they are kept at a fixed place. The speaker can allow us to call or send messages to our contacts through a simple voice command. The speaker, therefore, takes the place of a landline.
Use It as a Radio and More:
Smart speakers can be tuned in to digital radio. The speakers can tune in to radio stations of various countries, podcasts, and even streaming apps. These speakers can therefore easily replace FM radio. These speakers can also be asked to play a certain song, or narrate a great joke.
Use It as a Digital Display:
One example of a smart speaker with a digital display is the Google Nest Hub. This smart speaker can be used as a digital photo frame. Moreover, it can also be used to perform all the tasks performed by the conventional smart speaker.
Use It to Control LED Lights:
Smart speakers can also be used to control the lighting in our home, provided we have installed smart lights. Smart speakers can be used to change the color and intensity of smart bulbs. Smart bulbs can also be switched on and off with these speakers. Any smart home device that supports smart speakers, can be controlled using voice commands.
A smart speaker is so much more than just an encyclopedia. The fun is in experimenting what all the smart speaker is capable of.