How Amazon, Google and others are investing in AI and digital assistants for smart homes

A large number of tech incumbents including Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft are making quick investment moves in artificial intelligence (AI) and digital assistants for smart homes having realised the potential these technologies can play in the smart home market, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

The report, titled “Digital Assistants and AI in the Home”, evaluates the major drivers in the smart home market, barriers and technological trends related to AI as well as the major players and digital assistants. It also discusses the role played by digital assistants in this technology ecosystem and the applications which AI is enabling in the smart home.

Paige Leuschner, research analyst with Navigant Research, said: “Current AI technologies are being used to automate tasks, identify consumer trends, and power human-like digital assistants to make people’s lives more comfortable, convenient, and efficient. Consumer-ready AI technology isn’t about creating the human-like robots portrayed in popular media, it’s about making impactful and significant progress that delivers value to consumers.”

This may be one strategy that Amazon and Google are taking advantage of – yet a recent article from Business Insider provides another.  Amazon and Google are trying hard to increase sales of their smart speakers during the holiday season by cutting down on rates considerably.  The reason behind this “desperate” move to push up smart speakers sales is explained by a chart released by Statista, which showed that individuals who own smart speakers are much more likely to procure other smart-home products. Realising this, Amazon has reduced the price of its entry-level Echo Dot speaker to $29.99.

A recent comScore report revealed that the number of US households that possesses a smart speaker increased to 11% in October from 8.1% in June. In a statement comScore said: "The smart speaker is the gateway device to enabling a smart home."

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