There is a battle underway between technology giants over the rights to own your home. No, not your mortgage. The technology revolution of the future where everything in the home is a marvel of modern gadgetry, all controlled by the sound of your voice.
Who owns your home? Nobody. The technology media would like you to think that Amazon’s Echo with Alexa is the way toward the future, but I disagree. We bought an Echo. It’s like Siri but stuck in a single location and sits awake, 24-7, awaiting your command or query. Alexa has a handful of tricks that Siri doesn’t have, just as Siri can perform other tricks that Alexa and Echo cannot.
One of the most valuable tricks Siri can handle with ease is mobility. Amazon’s failed smartphone from a few years ago looks even more ominous today.
None of that matters. The home may be under assault by the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others, but nobody is winning. But if I were required to produce a list of who’s ahead and who’s behind it would go like this:
- Apple – more Siri connected products already in the home
- Google – more Android-based gadgets already in the home
- Samsung – some Samsung gadgets in the home
- Microsoft – Cortana runs on Windows PCs, too
- Amazon – dead last by a mile
That was easy. Apple’s advantage is like Google’s close second place. Sheer number of gadgets which can work with other home gadgets. Our household has far more gadgets than we need, but see how this list matches yours. We have a Samsung tablet (a gift), the aforementioned Amazon Echo, a Windows 10 touchscreen notebook, three Macs (an iMac, two Mac notebooks), two iPhones, two iPads, an Apple TV, and a Google Chromecast (damned cheap).
See? Apple is ahead.
But our household isn’t the normal household in Chicagoland, but I know from both experience and an informal ongoing non-scientific survey that most Android-based smartphone owners don’t know what Google Assistant is, and don’t have a clue what Echo, Cortana, or Bixby can do, but even they know what Siri does.
Who owns your home?
It’s likely to stay that way awhile as the technology giants battle it out, but it’s not too early to declare nobody the winner, and it’s to too early to declare some losers. In sheer numbers, Amazon is the loser. It’s last on the list. Echo doesn’t have the home automation or security that Apple’s very quiet HomeKit has. Alexa works much like Siri, handles some requests better, and some worse, but is tethered to whichever room she’s assigned. And, no, Alexa on an Amazon app on my iPhone is not the same as Siri on my iPhone.
The war is not yet won, and the battles are not yet over.