A new Google Home Mini arrived for the home office on Monday, a compliment to the full-sized Google Home that’s been on my the kitchen counter for the last couple of months. It’s almost disturbing how easy it was to get into the habit of barking commands at these things.
“Okay, Google. What’s the forecast for today?”
“Play me some jazz starting something from Miles Davis and Kind of Blue.”
“Did the Leafs win last night?”
And so on.
At the moment, Google Home products are the only high-profile smart speakers available in Canada, although we’re supposed to get Amazon’s Alexa next month and Apple’s HomePod sometime in December. And according to new research by a firm called Forrester, “smart home devices are expected to grow tenfold between 2017 and 2022.”
They continue: “Forrester expects the adoption of smart home devices in the US to be 10 times higher by 2022, driven by smart speakers and the devices that these speakers can control, such as smart bulbs and smart thermostats.”
In the US, the Alexa Echo range is still the market leader, although Google is making gains as is Sonos. Similar devices from companies like Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and Xiaomi are already in use in Asia.
Bottom line? A smart speaker of some sort is almost inevitably in your future.