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Smart Industry 1/2018

Smart Industry 1/2018 - The IoT Business Magazine - powered by Avnet Silica

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Smart Communications Voice Interface | Chatbots Interface Design The Voices of IoT 50

Voice is the next big platform and it may very well deliver the smart home hub everyone is waiting for. How does this new interface model fit in with the rest of the digital world? And what does the voice market look like today? ■ By Marcel Weiss The Amazon Fire Phone was a spectacular flop and, in hindsight, one of the best things that could have happened to Amazon. Instead of perhaps gaining a comfortable third place in mobile, Amazon was delegated to remain as “just another app” on someone else's platform. While Apple and Google were hard at work dividing up the gargantuan mobile market between them and crushing former operating systems giant Microsoft, Amazon could look elsewhere. Unencumbered by mobile, Amazon built and released the first version of a new kind of standalone gadget in late 2014. Thus Echo, the leading contender as winner of the “next big thing” was born and it took Google until 2016 and Apple until 2017 to bring their own smart speakers to market. Though Apple and Google continue to dominate mobile, Amazon seems poised to rule in the home. This is a big deal for the Internet of Things. IoT is often seen as the next big thing after mobile and, in the endconsumer market, the biggest missing piece of this puzzle has always been the actual glue that holds it all together: the essential platform and, with it, the front-end interface. Let's take a step back. Is voice the next big thing? Will voice finally be the harbinger of a truly smart home? Will voice be the natural interface for Talk to me! Voice is a natural way to interact with our technology, but constraints remain Not that easy Multipoint Control Units (MCUs) play a crucial role within complex voice server systems smart homes? Or, more precisely, will smart speakers turn into the smart home hubs holding it all together? Voice is a more natural way of interacting, or “communicating,” with devices than using a graphical user interface (GUI). On the other hand, voice is also very much constrained. Using voice is not the best way to do something that consists of several steps, or is overly complex, because it requires a lot of data points or options. This lays bare the fact that pure voice as an interface, meaning no screens, is more akin to a terminal than it is to a GUI within the larger interface family. We are entering the age of additive interfaces Which brings us to another trend in interfaces. Think about their future, which is more than “just another photo ©: Spansion 51