Voice Assistants

Voice Assistants

Amazon Alexa

  • Features
  1. You don’t need to design a voice user interface or VUI; instead, you can use Alexa to control your smart devices.
  2. While Alexa is the official name for Amazon’s voice assistant, you can change this wake word to “Amazon,” “Computer,” or “Echo.”
  3. Alexa has been integrated into many of Amazon’s services and can be used with products such as the original Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show, or Amazon Fire TV.
  4. Amazon has designed the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to mimic real conversations.
  5. The latest upgrade allows the app to send texts to any messaging device, including iPhones.
  • Pros
  1. Answer questions by searching on the web for the user.
  2. The major smart home platform for controlling smart home appliances.
  3. Can make calls on other Alexa supported devices.
  • Cons
  • “Always listening” no privacy.
  • Several days to update the new version.
  • Not useful response from common question sometimes asked by Alexa users.

  • Amazon Echo (fourth-gen): Best Overall Alexa Device and Smart Speaker
  • Wyze Cam: Best Smart Camera
  • Amazon Echo Show 8: Best Smart Display
  • August Wi-Fi Smart Lock: Best Lock
  • TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini: Best Smart Plug

Google Assistant

  • Features
  1. You can use the voice-activated element to check traffic updates and get the latest information on diversions and closures.
  2. Open Google Assistant, press the menu icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, and select Settings. From there, you can add any compatible smart devices (and many devices are compatible) that are currently active in your home. 
  3. Google Assistant can perform almost any conversion calculation, and it will read out the answer.
  4. The Call Screen feature enabling you to leave Assistant to answer the call and even record a transcript of the conversation so you can review it later
  5. You can also send emails in Gmail via Assistant.
  • Pros
  1. Can recognize your voices and is capable of telling who you are.
  2. Google Assistant on phone and tablet has more language variation. 
  3. It accesses millions of facts from google and can answer any questions.
  • Cons
  1. Requires you to give away sensitive data. 
  2. Needs an active internet connection to use.
  3. Maximum battery usage.
  • Specifications
  1. Dimensions – 3.8 x 1.4 x 2.4 inches
  2. Weight – 32 ounces
  3. Electrical Ration – 120V~/15A/60Hz/1800W
  4. WiFi – 2.4GHz 801.11n
  5. Price – $ 34.99

  • Google Nest Hub: Best overall and smart display
  • Google Nest Mini: Best smart speaker
  • Arlo Pro 3: Best outdoor smart camera
  • SimpliSafe Home Security: Best home security
  • Nest Hello: Best video doorbell

Apple Siri

  • Features
  1. Siri can announce your incoming messages on your AirPods.
  2. It’s much faster to ask Siri to access settings than it is to dive into the menu.
  3. If Siri isn’t pronouncing any contact’s name properly, say, “That’s not how you pronounce it.” Siri will then ask you to pronounce the name.
  4. You can ask Siri to post a status update or tweet. Just say, “Post to Facebook” followed by your message or, “Tweet” followed by what you want to post on Twitter.
  5. Siri now identifies songs via integration with Shazam.
  • Pros
  1. Siri can act as a GPS.
  2. Siri features built-in support for several languages.
  3. Siri is very simple to use.
  • Cons
  • May encounter some listening problems.
  • Siri Won’t Work Without An Active Internet Connection
  • Very few smart home devices connect to Siri.
  • Apple HomePod Mini: Best smart speaker
  • Apple TV 4K: Best smart hub
  • Eufy Indoor Cam 2K: Best Camera
  • Lutron Caseta In-Wall Smart Dimmer Switch: Best smart light switch
  • Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit: Best white-light smart bulbs

Microsoft Cortana

  • Features
  1. Join a meeting in Microsoft Teams or find out who your next meeting is with.
  2. Create and manage lists.
  3. Open apps on your computer
  4. Manage your calendar and keep your schedule up to date.
  5. Find facts, definitions, and info.
  • Pros
  1. The voice commands for restarting, signing out, locking, or turning off your PC.
  2. Increases productivity.
  3. Integrates with other tools swiftly.
  • Cons
  1. Will do what it has heard, regardless of the action
  2. Doesn’t have all the data.
  3. Cortana can be tricked into installing malware.
  • Harman/Kardon Invoke: Best Smart Speaker
  • Johnson Controls Glas: Best Smart Thermostat
  • Samsung SmartThings: Best Smart Home System
  • Philips Hue: Best Smart Light
  • TP-Link Kasa: Best Smart Plug

Mycroft

  • Features
  1. Mycroft only collects data if you are opt-in during setup.
  2. Mycroft uses the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo as its search engine instead of Google when you ask for information.
  3. Mycroft is speech-based, so you won’t have to worry about entering commands.
  4. You can change the Text To Speech (TTS) engine from Mimic to Google.
  5. You can change the default Units of Measurement, Time Format, and Date format used by Mycroft.
  • Pros
  1. Gives users a choice on how much of their personal data is shared and with whom.
  2. Open-source stuff: you can freely change some features.
  3. Good voice recognition.
  • Cons
  1. Very small user base.
  2. Can not be recommended to everyone.
  3. Still needs more improvement.