While Siri and Google Now are well-established smartphone features, it is predicted the full potential of voice control systems in the smart home will be met in the coming years. ABI Research forecasts that more than 120 million voice-enabled devices will ship annually by 2021.
Voice control, which combines speech recognition and natural language processing, is quickly becoming the key user interface within the smart home.
New microphone-enhanced products will extend the ability to hear voice commands throughout a smart home environment. These will include TVs, refrigerators, plugs, cameras, doorbells, smart lighting and others. Vendors, including Google with Nest, are already expanding their products to support listening capabilities.
However, tying multiple listening and voice controlled devices together into a coherent smart home system will require a shared voice platform. In the absence of standardisation, the primary home voice platform providers, Apple, Amazon and Google, have their own approaches to extend and support their core businesses.