Who is Alexa and what is she doing in my son’s bedroom?

Sunday 26 March, 2017
Alexa, I don’t like that song, play me another one…

Change the station, I want to hear The Muttons

Voice control of audio devices is the next big thing in consumer technology.

It was a hot topic of discussion at RadioDays Europe this week, with one researcher noting that voice controlled speakers were the biggest selling audio item last Christmas in America.

“I was wondering who my son was talking to late at night in his bedroom… it turned out to be Alexa,” he said.

Apple’s Siri was the first significant voice controlled personal assistant, and Google’s Alexa is also a big played for non iOS devices.

The voice control technology pioneered by these companies is now being integrated into smart speakers to give users voice control of their audio experience.

Those who remember back to the era of the record player might gleefully recall the moment when the record stacker was invented, meaning you didn’t have to get up and change the vinyl any more. CD stackers achieved the same efficiency, but they didn’t give you direct control of which song was played.

Digital audio players were the next leap ahead, but you still had to touch the screen to choose the next song or program a playlist.

Voice control of your audio is the next evolution.

Talk to the speaker and change from live radio to Pandora, to your own music collection, and back again, without touching an interface. Search for the music you like and play it, without having to use a browser.

Siri and Alexa are being integrated into wireless speakers to add the extra dimension of voice control to the already convenient wireless music experience.

Lenova, Amazon and other brands are all coming to market with these new gadgets, due to the popularity of the first models.

A range of models are on offer, with different shapes and functionality. Stereo and mono models are available, although why anyone would produce a mono speaker in this day and age is a mystery. The best ones use surround sound technology to spread the audio around the room from a single rounded device.

Now you know what the get the radio geek who has everything for next Christmas… or Easter… or as soon as they read this article.

 

 

RDE17

 

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