We’ve suggested a smart speaker for Smart home automation uses. It’s time to step back and address some of the major issues: What is a smart speaker?
A smart speaker is a device that can play music, provide answers to queries asked verbally, and control elements of your house with the help of a built-in virtual assistant. What we generally think of as a music playback system is expanded by a smart speaker.
A smart speaker can be used as a central information source, providing weather, dictionaries, traffic updates, and directions, among other things. It’s also a home assistant that handles things like temperature control (thermostat), lighting, door locks, window blinds, and security monitoring, among other things.
The Basics of Smart Speaker
There are no established industry criteria for what qualifies a product as a smart speaker. Nonetheless, the title is applied to standalone audio devices with the following fundamental features:
Basic 1 Compact Dimensions:
A smart speaker is small enough to be placed anywhere in the house. The speaker’s modest size allows it to be placed almost anywhere for example, on a nightstand, a kitchen counter, or a bookshelf.
Basic 2 Music Playback:
Smart speakers may play music just like regular speakers, but they aren’t built the same way. These are self-contained powered speakers, as opposed to speakers that link to a stereo or home theater receiver.
You may set up many smart speakers of the same brand throughout the house so that the music played on one can be heard in multiple areas at the same time. MusicCast, Sonos, Play-Fi, HEOS, and other dedicated wireless multi-room audio systems work in a similar way.
Basic 3 Internet:
A Wi-Fi home network can link a smart speaker to the internet. Initial setup may necessitate the use of a smartphone or computer to download an app that walks you through the procedure.
Basic 4 Streaming music:
Smart speakers can stream music from online sources supported by the specific brand and model thanks to network and internet access.
Basic 3 Bluetooth:
A smart speaker may include Bluetooth capability in addition to internet access. Music may be streamed from compatible smartphones and tablets (without depending on your Wi-Fi network).
Bluetooth compatibility for smart speakers is optional, although Google Home and Amazon Echo come with it. Additionally, music played on an Amazon Echo can be streamed to additional Bluetooth speakers.
Basic 5 Voice Commands:
A smart speaker contains one or more built-in microphones that allow you to provide commands to the speaker, which it will carry out (based on its functionality). So, if you have an internet connection, you can check the temperature, listen to the weather forecast, adjust the volume, and more.
Basic 6 A Virtual Assistant for the Home:
A smart speaker can act as a virtual home assistant in addition to speech recognition and control. Access to local over-the-air radio stations, TV and lighting control, message dictation, audiobook playback, language translation, shopping (including ordering take-out and delivery), and hands-free phone dialing are all possible functions of a home assistant.
Those extra features are provided at the discretion of the manufacturer, and none, one, or more may be built-in. Some features may require firmware updates or connect with other devices, which will necessitate a separate purchase, such as a smart plug that connects to your lights.
Some third-party control devices are compatible with Google Home and Amazon Echo. Apple HomePod can only be used with accessory control devices that are Apple HomeKit compatible.
Why Would You Need a Smart Speaker?
The future of home entertainment is here, and it comes in the form of a speaker. Not just any speaker, but a smart speaker. A smart speaker is a device that can do more than just play music. It can answer your questions, manage your schedule, and control your home all with voice commands.
There are several compelling reasons to purchase a smart speaker in today’s environment:
- Listening to music on the go: Replace your clock radio, alarm clock, and compact music system with this versatile music player. While you’re at home, you won’t drain your smartphone battery by streaming music to a Bluetooth speaker or home audio system. All you have to do now is listen to your smart speaker.
- Convenience: A smart speaker can be placed anywhere in your home. To use it, all you need is your voice. There’s no need to look for remote control or a smartphone. You also don’t need to pick up the newspaper, log on to your computer, or pull out your smartphone or tablet to get the latest news, weather, sports scores, or other relevant information.
- Interaction with other devices: Depending on the smart speaker’s brand and model, it may offer control integration with other voice-controlled devices across the house. Utilizing a smart speaker for home management activities is less expensive than using a custom-installed system, but it is not as complete.
- Sound quality: In terms of audio playback quality, certain modern smart speakers (such as the Apple HomePod) compete with classic compact music systems and other types of home speakers.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Smart Speaker in Your Home?
Smart speakers are a new technology that is quickly becoming a must-have for many households. These devices are voice-activated and can give you the information you need with just a few words. You can ask it to play music, read the news, or answer your questions. Some of these devices can even control your smart home.
Here are some of the benefits of using a smart speaker in your home:
- It saves time.
- It is convenient.
- You have access to all of Google’s knowledge at your fingertips.
- It has better sound quality than any other device on the market.
How to Secure Your Home with IoT Devices and Smart Speakers?
With the help of IoT devices and smart speakers, you can have a safe and secure home. In this article, we will explore how you can use these devices to make your home a safer place.
The security of your home is one of the most important aspects to consider before buying any device. You need to know that your device can be secured from hackers or intruders. The good news is that there are many ways in which you can secure your smart speaker so that it does not become an easy target for hackers.
The first way is by using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts all the data sent from your phone or laptop to the internet so that only authorized users can access it. This means that if someone tries to hack into your device, they will not be able to have access.
Smart Speaker Use Cases and Benefits Across Industries
A smart speaker is a voice-operated home appliance that can be used to control and interact with digital services.
The first smart speaker was introduced by Amazon in 2014. The device was called “Echo,” and it was powered by Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa.
Smart speakers are not just for playing music or listening to the news. They can be used for a variety of purposes, such as controlling smart home devices, ordering food, asking for directions, and more.
In addition to the use cases mentioned above, smart speakers have been used in various industries such as education, healthcare, and retail. For example, they have been used as an interactive teaching tool in classrooms; they have also been used to help diagnose heart conditions remotely; they have also been used to power customer service chatbots on
Why Should You Be Wary When Using Smart Speakers?
Here are some reasons why you should be wary when using a smart speaker in your home:
Your Speaker is Paying Attention: Your smart speaker, like a webcam or a voice-activated smart TV, may listen to more than just your orders.
Having a Conversation with an Electronic Device: On a smartphone or smart TV, many individuals are accustomed to utilizing voice commands to conduct web searches. The thought of talking to an electronic item and having it respond to you may be unsettling if you haven’t done so before.
Cost: The Price Like other electrical devices, there is a price tag. Manufacturers entice you with what appears to be a low-cost smart speaker. However, if you become addicted, you may decide to spend money on more speakers to place in other rooms of the house. You may also choose to spend extra money on peripheral devices that allow you to control various aspects of your home environment.
All you want to do is listen to music: Assume that music is your major use and that additional capabilities like management of other devices around the house aren’t vital to you. In this situation, purchasing a low-cost Bluetooth speaker or investing in a multi-room wireless audio system platform may be a better fit.
Despite the fact that a multi-room audio system can blow your budget, it is completely focused on your music listening demands.
Smart Speaker vs. Smartphone and Smart TV
You might own a smartphone and smart television. Although a smartphone can communicate with a smart speaker, there are various apps that allow your smartphone to fulfill many of the smart speaker’s home control duties.
If you want more control over your home, certain smart TVs (such as LG and Samsung models) employ downloaded apps to connect to the same management systems as smart speakers. Smart speakers can also add video control, such as baby or security monitoring, to the mix.
Smart speakers give home entertainment and control a new level. When the ability to listen to music is combined with the ability to accomplish other personal and household duties, the necessity for classic clock radios, alarm clocks, and tiny mini audio systems is altered.
Whether or not you decide to take the risk is entirely up to you. Similar to how it’s tough to find a television that isn’t smart, smart speakers may someday push outdated compact music systems off store shelves.
- Google Home or Alexa: which is better?
Both smart speaker companies are nearly identical in almost every manner, so deciding between Google Home and Alexa is a personal choice. The Google Assistant, for example, can answer some questions that Alexa cannot, but Alexa has jokes and skills for playing games, automating routines, and more.
- Is it possible for smart speakers to spy on you?
Yes, but it’s a long shot. Smart speakers, like other smart gadgets connected to a Wi-Fi network, can be hacked, although no stories of smart speakers being used to spy on people have surfaced.
- Is it possible to set up a smart speaker without using a phone?
No. To set up the device, you’ll need to utilize a phone or tablet. You can operate the device with your voice after it’s linked to Wi-Fi.
- Is Wi-Fi required for smart speakers?
Yes. Wi-Fi is required for Google Home devices and other smart speakers with virtual assistants to function. You don’t require a Wi-Fi connection if your Bluetooth speakers are primarily used to transmit audio.
SAMMY MWANGI the editor of Autohomegadgets.com. He is an Electronics Technician enthusiast and a Sales Manager in one of the leading ICT companies in Africa. When he is not working, he loves to travel and explore nature. He is a Robot fanatic too.