It was my birthday recently (I actually mentioned it in my previous blog…though still haven’t seen any cards…), and my university pals bought me an Amazon Echo Dot. When presenting it to me, they accompanied it with the words ‘of all people, you are the one most likely to actually use this’ – I’ve decided not to read too much into that comment.
It did get me thinking, however, about how far voice-controlled technology has come. Remember how weird we thought it looked when people took phone calls via their headphones? “Looks like that guy is chatting to himself!” my dad used to say. Now, holding a phone to our ear is just a hindrance. These small advancements are often things that people dismiss at the time – after all, it’s simply human nature to cut corners or “maximise efficiency” – but they can stack up thick and fast to drive a sizable evolution.
When it comes to the inevitable progression to voice-controlled tech, I will happily call myself an earlier adopter. Yes, you can easily search for music on your phone. Yes, you can stick a reminder list to the fridge, but it’s so much easier to ask the robot in the corner to do it. Why? Because the whole industry around us is evolving to cater for that robot. This is something WE takes into account when servicing its clients – that industry trends are always in motion and it is in fact the brand that needs to become the early adopter and not get left behind.
The ‘internet of things’ is real, it’s happening, and tech brands are now offering products readily equipped to connect to such robot controllers – kind of like the modern day USB port. Take Honeywell for example, which now offers connected home tech that is fitted to be compatible with Amazon Echo-type technology – controlling the heat in your house through voice command. Other companies sync with your home appliances, meaning that before you even put your keys in the door you have already set your house to the perfect temperature, switched on the lights and pre-heated the oven to 180 degrees – all to the mellow strains of Otis Redding playing in the background through your chosen speaker.
It might sound scary, but the sooner you have your preferences, payment details and even location hooked up to one system you can control with your voice, the easier it will be to evolve with the latest innovations that are hitting the shop floors – ultimately laying a virtual infrastructure for what’s to come. This is a metaphor that can be carried over to any major industry trend – any brand that invests time and money early will inevitably reap the rewards. From changes in trading laws through to the way consumers view content online – brands in motion will always be the early adopters.