VOICE CON­TROL The smartest gad­gets are now the ones you can talk to

Tech has found its voice, and 2018 is the year the con­ver­sa­tion will re­ally get go­ing

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

HOW DOES VOICE CON­TROL WORK? These de­vices are essen­tially speak­ers with em­bed­ded mi­cro­phones that act as hubs for con­nect­ing smart tech­nol­ogy, such as light bulbs and ther­mostats, in the home, as well as ac­cess­ing on­line apps and in­for­ma­tion – all con­trolled by spo­ken com­mands.

WHO ARE THE KEY PLAY­ERS? Ap­ple, Google and Ama­zon. Ap­ple’s ‘Home­pod’ (out Jan­uary; ap­ple.com) was late to the show, launched in the US at the end of last year and only now planned to hit the UK, while the Ama­zon ‘Echo’ (from £89.99; ama­zon.co.uk) and ‘Google Home’ (£129; store.google.com) are al­ready into their sec­ond gen­er­a­tions, with a range of sizes and de­signs avail­able – Ama­zon’s ‘Echo Show’ is the first of its type to have a screen.

WHAT DO I SAY? The con­ver­sa­tion starts with a com­mand to ‘wake’ the de­vice – with Ama­zon this phrase is ‘Alexa’ (the name of its cloud-based voice ser­vice). Google uses ‘OK Google’ and Ap­ple ‘Hey, Siri’. Then sim­ply ask it a ques­tion or make a de­mand – if you’re stuck, try ‘tell me a joke’.

WHAT ELSE WORKS WITH IT? Sonos’s lat­est ‘One’ speaker has ‘Alexa’ ca­pa­bil­ity, while Philips Hue, Nest and Sam­sung also of­fer com­pat­i­ble de­vices. In fact, there’s a wealth of prod­ucts that can be voice­con­trolled, from TVS to vac­uum clean­ers and smart door locks. As they’re speak­ers, mu­sic plays a part – Spo­tify, Ap­ple Mu­sic and Tunein can all be voice-con­trolled. SHOULD I GET ONE? As with all new tech­nolo­gies, there are gl­itches that need iron­ing out – but it’s a fast-mov­ing area that is def­i­nitely the fu­ture of tech­nol­ogy in the home. Con­trol­ling your house with just your voice re­duces your screen time (why search for an­swers on your smart­phone when you can ac­tu­ally ask the in­ter­net?) and by amal­ga­mat­ing your smart de­vices you save time. Still not sure? Ama­zon and Google’s mini ver­sions cost just £49 – an af­ford­able in­tro­duc­tion to the fu­ture.

SO­PHIS­TI­CATED AND DIS­CREET, THESE NEW HOME GAD­GETS ARE MAS­TER­ING THE ART OF CON­VER­SA­TION

Clock­wise, from above The ‘Ama­zon Echo’ in ‘ Heather Grey’. ‘Google Home’. The Ap­ple ‘ Home­pod’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.