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#IoT Checkup on…Smart Speakers

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 10.10.07 PMI’ve been keeping my eyes and ears on Smart Speakers. I love the idea of them–”Alexa, save me time and help me not waste it at the grocery store!” But, I don’t really love the idea of them always listening. I don’t own one…yet. But after this analysis, I’m not completely clear on which one has the solid advantages over the other.

And, of course there are more options out there than the two I’m about to compare. I’ll let you go research those.

Now that more apps are coming for them (they call them Actions in Alphabet Google Home or Skills on Amazon Echo), and after attending a SEO meet up at SXSW, where the bulk of the conversation was not about SEO on search engines anymore – it was a land grab for SEO on these smart speakers, I thought I’d take a look at a little more on what they’re offering:

In my opinion (and mine alone here), I think Amazon has the big advantages of higher market penetration with 20 million homes and growing (last I saw, there are 120 million homes in the US?) Also, I think Amazon has been a little more aggressive in partnering up with others for the technology and knowledge (AARP is a key example).

On the other hand, Google Home speaks more languages now and possibly in the future, has a wider variety of retailers you can buy from (not just Amazon), and has a lot more “Actions” than Amazon has “Skills.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 10.07.28 PM

I looked a little closer at health and fitness in both of the smart speakers. While they have fitness I think nailed down pretty well, they’re not doing much in health yet. “Answers on Cigna” is probably one of the more recent examples on Amazon’s Skills. However, there are some skills in the Amazon store that have little to no description, and are poorly rated.

So, methinks both platforms would want to screen out bad apps (skills & actions) much like Apple does with podcasts on iTunes. (Quality, anyone? Especially when it comes to our healthcare.) If you’re reading this and you work at Alphabet and/or Amazon: pay attention to healthcare apps/skills/actions – they need to be super accurate. In fact, I’m kind of surprised that FDA isn’t creeping into this space and starting to watch what happens in this arena, because it’s a land grab right now and kind of the wild wild west….considering healthcare is highly regulated, I’m guessing someone at FDA is watching the drug bits.

The podcast geek in me is interested in the Chompers Skill that was put up by Gimlet media relatively recently. It has high ratings, and was created by a company that creates…podcasts.

So, after my little analysis here and above, am I ready to buy one? Nope. Not yet. But I see the day where I might trade my privacy in for my time wasted at the grocery store. Until then, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open to see who wins this new frontier (and battle) in commerce.

Sources for table and this article from:

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