Why Amazon Echo is the future of every home

转载 2015年07月06日 21:57:48

By 

 

Amazon surprised everyone Thursday by unceremoniously launching a product called Echo.

The Internet-connected hardware device provides support for Amazon's virtual assistant platform. That platform, called Alexa, works like Apple's Siri, Google Now or Microsoft's Cortana. You talk to Alexa using Echo's microphone. Alexa talks back through Echo's speakers. Alexa does things for you. It answers your questions.

There is no conceptual difference between Alexa and Siri, Google Now or Cortana.

Critics have pounced on Echo, saying that it's just a manipulative way for Amazon to make it easy for you to buy stuff. That criticism is as true as it is obvious, but it's also irrelevant. Both Amazon and consumers want buying stuff to be easier.

Other critics said that Echo is unnecessary because we already carry smartphones that can do the same thing. But here's where I completely part company with the critics. I believe Echo represents the future of human-machine interfaces better than Siri, Google Now or Cortana do.


Here's why.

Why Echo is the future

Echo is closer to how we'll use computers in the future because it's optimized for hands-free, ambient use.

It's optimized in the sense that Echo has a purpose-built microphone designed to understand human speech anywhere in a room and a speaker system that enables human ears to hear the response -- as well as music and other audio -- from anywhere in a room. (In fact, the device is almost entirely made up of speaker components.) A ring around the top lets you adjust the volume of the speaker. And a light lets you know when it's working.

Unlike smartphones, Echo is not designed to just make it possible for a specific person to instantly access a virtual assistant; it's designed for use by anyone in a room.

Star Trek nailed it. In that series (in addition to an absurd array of dials, buttons and screens), the main interface to the Enterprise's supercomputer was voice. A crew member would say: "Computer" followed by some command or question. The computer would talk back.

It's inevitable that this interface will be extremely effective, appealing and ubiquitous in the future. We'll talk, and the virtual assistant of our choice will answer, act and respond accordingly.

As artificial intelligence, voice recognition, speech recognition and other technologies related to virtual assistants improve, these interfaces will do amazing things for us. They'll understand, interpret and make decisions based on past behavior. We'll blurt out "Alexa" or "Hey Siri" or "OK, Google Now" or "Yo, Cortana" followed by something cryptic and colloquial: "We need paper towels!" The assistant will know your preferences and will have access to your credit card, so it will go ahead and order the paper towels and have them shipped. It's not hard to see why this is important to Amazon.

It appears from our limited perspective that Siri, Google Now and Cortana operate on general-purpose devices, while Echo is a limited-purpose device. But conceptually, the opposite is true.

The future of virtual assistants isn't mobile devices and PCs, but microphone-speaker-Internet-connection devices that are custom- or purpose-built for exactly whatever space you're in.

I think it's a near certainty that there will be Echo-like devices for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and garages. Plus smaller and quieter ones for the bathroom (Oh, shut up: You already bring your smartphone into the bathroom -- what's the difference?), hallway, car, boat, office and anywhere else you spend time.

Of course, if you're jogging or shopping or having a picnic, you'll have to resort to accessing your personal assistant the old-fashioned way: Through your smartphone.

But the ultimate result will be that you'll forget about Echo-like products, and you'll simply speak up, address your virtual assistant, and stuff will happen.

I believe ubiquity is the core attribute of the voice interface of tomorrow. If multiple devices pick up your voice, which they will, the software will figure out which device to interact with you on.

Echo's technology is not more advanced than the hardware facilitating interaction with Siri, Google Now and Cortana. But the use case, the approach, the scenario is more advanced.

In the future, virtual assistant hardware will be optimized for the space or location.

I also believe hundreds or thousands of companies will make that hardware. Sonos should and probably will start soon building microphones into its speakers. Refrigerators, lamps, tables and other ordinary household objects will get speakers and microphones and Internet connections for this purpose. Cars already have the microphones and speakers and will soon universally support the option for Internet connectivity.

That's why Echo, while itself a single-purpose device, represents a use case that will be handled in the future by any device. Anything with a microphone, speaker and Internet connection will function like Echo.

The criticism of Echo is a knee-jerk reaction that's perfectly futile. This world is absolutely going to happen. And we're going to love our virtual assistants, because they'll protect us, help us and make our lives much easier.

Yes, of course we don't want to be tracked -- or be trackable. The idea of computers listening to us in our homes is creepy. It's all in the service of exploitive commercialism. It feels dystopian.

All that is true.

But it's also true that it's going to happen. We're going to love it. And people born from today onward won't know any other way.


Google Home/Amazon Echo/HomePod优劣势

开篇我们先来看看他们的模样:                                              Google Home                 ...
  • o_k
  • o_k
  • 2017年10月13日 01:14
  • 226

下一个大计算平台? Amazon Echo 研发幕后全揭露

作为亚马逊打入智能家居并占据入口地位的标志产品,Echo的研发历程一波三折。本文记者采访内部一线人员,得到Echo问世幕后消息:亚马逊最初瞄准AR,不成后转做声控扬声器,Fire Phone的失败让这...
  • liangyihuai
  • liangyihuai
  • 2017年01月27日 13:55
  • 1191

Ten reasons why every programmer should learn C

1) C is lower level then other programming languages (C++, Java). Programming at a lower level allow...
  • DBCOLOR
  • DBCOLOR
  • 2008年01月05日 20:24
  • 404

超低成本DIY skill实现Amazon Echo Dot控制自己家的智能设备

此文的方法是DIY一个测试版Skill,会将设备直接暴露在公网上,安全性很差,而且账户认证什么的都是写死的,只适合自己玩,而且外网接口千万不要外泄。 原文链接:http://blog.csdn.net...
  • luhanglei
  • luhanglei
  • 2017年02月23日 18:20
  • 4480

小米智能家庭接入亚马逊Echo

效果:效果视频 本文讲述到的器材:Echo Dot(当然也可以接入其他设备),极路由1S(已经开启极客模式,理论上只要能进入ssh的路由器都可以),小米网关,温湿度传感器 此文的方法是DIY一个测试版...
  • luhanglei
  • luhanglei
  • 2017年03月03日 18:23
  • 6362

把arduino以简单的方式接入Amazon Alexa实现语音控制

本文只是提供一个简单的思路,以一种比较简单的方式把自己使用arduino制作的硬件连接到Amazon Alexa中,可以使用Amazon Echo等设备控制它。 大体的原理如图所示 1.首先需要配...
  • luhanglei
  • luhanglei
  • 2017年01月09日 18:12
  • 7516

机智云在Amazon Alexa平台发布Smarthome和Custom Skill,实现亚马逊Echo直接控制Gokit

机智云在Amazon Alexa平台率先发布了Smarthome Skill和Custom Skill,实现了亚马逊Echo直接控制机智云开源套件Gokit(包括Gokit2.0和Gokit3.0)!...
  • gizwits_csdn
  • gizwits_csdn
  • 2017年03月31日 14:13
  • 1472

linux之shell: [ -z "$HOME" ];echo $? 1解释

[root@localhost /]# [ -z  "$HOME" ];echo $? 1 运行句代码不是很懂,故上网搜索,得到的答案如下: [test@localhos...
  • yusiyuuestc
  • yusiyuuestc
  • 2014年01月07日 14:38
  • 1450

百度AI大会的一些想法,了解DuerOS、Amazon Alexa和Echo

今天看了一会百度的AI开发者大会视频,说实话被一些场景震撼了,尤其是一位嵌入式工程师,利用百度AI,将小外甥的乐高机器人,打造为可对话的机器人,让我体会到AI就是身边,不再听起来像天方夜谭,我也有一些...
  • bisal
  • bisal
  • 2017年07月08日 10:32
  • 4939

echo %M2_HOME

echo %M2_HOME% 用来检测M2_HOME是否指向正确的maven安装路径
  • wyc2410
  • wyc2410
  • 2013年09月17日 16:14
  • 1149
内容举报
返回顶部
收藏助手
不良信息举报
您举报文章:Why Amazon Echo is the future of every home
举报原因:
原因补充:

(最多只允许输入30个字)