Geeks loves the first days of the year, when they finally can have a peek at upcoming technologies thanks to the CES, the most important consumer electronic show. An exhibition that probably left a bit disappointed those who were sure that VR would have been protagonist even this year. After last year exploit and the launch of the most important products, it looks like the interest toward virtual reality has slowed down.
As usual TV and PC producers have shown newer and more evolved versions of their products but probably only a few customers are willing to throw out their actual hardware for the new announcements, being it a 4K, a new PC or a better smartphone. Basically, what we are lacking is something able to amaze people, something that people will be adamant to own at any cost. Basically, hardware specs seems to fascinate less people: the audience does not want a more powerful PC or a nicer smartphone.
They prefer smarter objects than more powerful ones. Like a smart bed or an intelligent oven or dishwasher that can be controlled through the smartphone. The word is IoT, Internet of Things. Every company is experimenting with it, being it an emerging startup or a huge enterprise who’s trying to give appeal to objects who totally lack it, like refrigerators and washing machines. This is not something unheard of: Samsung, Whirpool, LG and others already launched some smart appliances. What’s new is that now all these thins are able to live inside a common ecosystem. One of the most irritating aspect of the actual smart objects is the need for a different app for any brand: one app to control the lights, another to wash laundry, another one to peek inside the fridge…even the most virtuous ones will be driven crazy. Now they can share a common language.
Probably many of you are thinking about Apple’s Homekit but you’ll be surprised to find out that the new IoT’s hub seems to be Alexa, the Amazon’s vocal assistant integrated in Echo. Alexa will be in control of our homes. It works with vocal commands and it’s so easy to use that anyone in the house will love it, including the most technophobic. While a little bit of skill is needed to use an app, non is required to say “Alexa, turn the lights on”, “Rise the living room temperature” or “Start the Roomba”.
With Alexa Amazon could be able to became not only to center of the living room: it’s rapidly expanding towards the automotive sector, which will represent the next big thing. Amazon is conquering all those areas that Tim Cook was aiming for, the very same sector that Google contributed to create with Nest and, then, Google Home.