As you may already know from our most recent Press Release, consumer demand for connected home devices is falling. Issues with connectivity and difficulties with installation are deterring mainstream adoption, but, in the midst of stagnating demand, Amazon is opening development on their voice technology software, while investing some $100 million in their ‘Alexa Fund’ to develop their, already delightful, voice technology for connected devices.
So far, Amazon’s Alexa Fund has invested in companies developing in various connected device areas, including: smart kitchen apps, DIY home security, garage door monitoring, connected toys, virtual athletic coaching, and connected car. Amazon’s founder and chief executive stated that the goal of this initiative is to “empower people to explore the boundaries of voice technology,” and that he plans to focus the project especially on companies building “products for the home.”
Could developments in voice technology mean the disruption of the smartphone as the connected home controller paradigm? Instead of stumbling through pages of apps on a smartphone find the one that displays a button to switch on the lights, we could politely ask our lights to turn themselves on, making a smart home even simpler to control.
Success with the Alexa Fund could help to improve how users interact with connected devices, but will the promise of more convenient control help reverse the negative demand trend for connected home devices? Amazon is betting on it, while Apple and Google keep their voice technology private despite expressed plans to open development.
Argus Insights will continue to track consumer perception of the Internet of Things, so stay tuned as we watch and report on the developing market. We listen to consumers to discover what is bringing them delight and dissatisfaction to coach our clients on how to sustain market fit in the face of competitive threats and shifting customer preferences. Schedule a free consultation to discover how quickly Argus Insights can deliver actionable insight.