Now that CES is over and the tech companies are scuttling back to their laboratories, a few of the trends for 2017 have become clear.
For a start, the big winner at the show wasn’t a piece of hardware, but a service/software that looks like it could be running almost everything soon. The technology that Amazon sells through its Echo products is now coming to LG devices including a smart fridge, Lenovo’s Smart Assistant, new model Ford and Hyundai cars, Westinghouse TV sets and many more devices around the home.
Estimates are that Alexa is now compatible with over 6,000 products. That will leave Apple’s Siri and any other contenders far behind in the market, placing Amazon’s Alexa as the default choice for voice control in smart homes and technology when others look to add a voice to their products.
Robots on the rise
That list includes LG’s Hub Robot, part of the growing robot army that will be part of the smart home actual-bot revolution in 2017. These droids will be roaming our homes to help out, entertain the children and provide roving security around the property.
They will have a screen to provide a face or input, making them more practical than the current Echo devices. They will be using cameras for security, vacuum cleaners for dust patrols, and arms to provide more practical services.
Another droid around the home will be the Ubtech Lynx, which is proudly badged as coming with Amazon Alexa. This walking, talking droid, can do dance moves and much more.
While it might not be making great strides in mobility is only the first step toward true (and larger) mechanoid helpers around the home. It originally came to life via $1.4 million in crowdfunding, showing just how powerful that is as a route to market.
Echo sales will be huge
As for the Echo range, Amazon called the Echo and its diminutive Dot; “the best-selling products across Amazon this year” suggesting that millions of consumers will be learning to control smart home products with this product and not Google’s or Apple. The only thing slowing down Echo’s rise was Amazon running out of product stock during the holiday season, something it will hope to avoid over 2017.
Vimeo: LG Smart InstaView Refrigerator
I’ve been writing about technology. PCs and mobile for over 10 years, covering news, tutorials, reviews, comparisons and other pieces across magazines and websites.