The gadgets we use, phones and computers are operated by pointing and clicking, poking, swiping or typing. But recent advancements in technology have made it possible for a new interface to control these electronic gadgets- voice control. Amazon’s Echo, a voice command device, has been a huge hit among the users. Reports say that Apple and Google are also working on voice controlled appliances. All these companies already have voice-controlled systems like car dashboard and TV controls.
Bluetooth headsets when first introduced, people found it easier to communicate. Similarly, it is assumed that voice interfaces could be controlled through extensions such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now. For example, HomeKit by Apple has been designed to control Wireless home automation devices through Siri. Similarly, companies like Athom, Insteon, Ivee, CastleOS and others are introducing voice controlled automation systems.
As the public is gradually getting used to the concept of communicating with smart devices, the voice assistant, and voice control revolution could bring us technologies where interacting with all devices could be made possible. Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are the two things that are making voice control technologies much more popular in markets in recent times. Internet of Things or ‘IoT’ is the idea that all things can be connected to the internet and can be controlled. Artificial intelligence enables the devices to understand the commands given in simple language. Together, they can make a successful combination for voice control technology.
In five years, it is possible that most devices that we use, home appliances, smart phones, computers cars and other devices could be controlled with voice interface; and this form of interface might prove as the most popular and easier interface as it works on simple voice commands. There are already devices that can be controlled with voice. A few of such gadgets are mentioned below.
Voice-activated Ceiling Fan
Haiku SenseMe fans by Big Ass Fans can be controlled with a smart phone. This fan is also fitted with a microphone and also with Wifi connection, enabling the fan to be used like Amazon’s Echo. The shape of the ceiling fan makes it possible for fitting the required electronics in its base; also, being at the centre of the room and already supplied with electricity, only a few changes are needed to be made to make the fan voice controlled.
Talking to light bulbs
EasyBulb is a product that allows the control of light with voice command, which is spoken into the smart phone which has the EasyBulb app. Another such product is Vocca light, which makes it possible to control light, where the smart phone is not needed. In pro models, words can be set to turn lights off or on. Times can also be set for the lights to be turned off or on.
Thermostats are being designed in such a way that they can be controlled via voice commands. One such thermostat is Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Voice Control. The device can be activated by saying “Hello, thermostat” and simple commands like “make it warm” or “reduce the temperature” will be executed by the device.
Talking to sound systems
Sonos is a company that makes speakers that are controlled by WiFi and smart phone applications. In recent days, the company is developing devices like Amazon Echo so that the device can respond back to voice commands. Similarly, D&M, a wireless audio maker, has promised to make voice control devices. In few years, it is expected that all home appliances would become voice controlled.
Voice controlled Drones
Flypro, a company that makes drones, has produced a new line of drones, XEagle camera drone that can be voice controlled through voice commands. The drone is controlled by speaking to the wristwatch. Simple commands like ‘Flypro takeoff’ or ‘Flypro follow’ is used to control it.
Bluetooth door locking system is already available, which uses the phone or Bluetooth devices to unlock and lock doors. The biometric locking system is also widely used. But, it is anticipated that in future, voice commanded door locking system could be available, which would include a tele-presence robot, enabling the owner to open or close doors via Skype. It is also possible for the Smartphone to recognize the visitor through face recognition software and open door.
While it is not very difficult to operate fans or thermostats or ovens manually, voice control systems and smart home products make life easier by remembering and recognizing our needs and requirements. From doors to drones, voice control interfaces can be applied and controlled by using simple voice commands. These voice command interfaces are said to be the most promising technology of the future.