What We’ll See Next

As smart product lines continue to be released, and new programs make steps toward a smart world, we expect to see these trends:

The Smart Home Becomes the Voice Assistant Battleground

The emergence of programs such as Project Connected Home over IP will only accelerate the adoption of smart home devices. The program, spearheaded by the Zigbee Alliance, intends to create a standard for smart device manufacturers that would allow for support of all major voice assistants at once. Devices that can support multiple assistants point toward a standardized smart ecosystem where consumers can choose what assistants they use and how their appliances connect to each other. By facilitating this kind of smart environment, we anticipate greater competition between tech companies to differentiate their assistant offerings based on core capabilities and intelligence vs. through new hardware and devices. Becoming the assistant of choice will help tech companies transform into the operating system of the home. 

Voice Will Become Standard on New Appliances

We interact with countless devices on a daily basis, from our computers and TVs to kitchen and cleaning appliances. Although voice assistants are already present in some brands’ newest product lines, we believe that voice AI will become a new standard feature for all smart appliances. Additionally, we’re likely to see new types of home interfaces for voice emergence. With voice already permeating everything from microwaves to thermostats, technology manufacturers may start going bigger—i.e. smart wall panels, kitchen counters, dinner tables, etc. If there’s an area of the home that hasn’t been connected yet, voice will surely be present when it is. 

Voice Will Be Available Everywhere

Smart assistants have now become expected in residential settings such as the home, apartments, senior centers, and dorms. We believe they’re about to be everywhere else as well. Voice technology will make its way into retail stores, restaurants, and any facility where voice can reduce friction and promote contactless transactions. Companies like Amazon are already experimenting bringing Alexa into the shopping aisle. As we continue to get accustomed to voice assistants being present in various environments, any setting will be able to be transformed into a smart ecosystem.

More Voice Trends to Watch in 2021
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