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A smart speaker is a type of wireless speaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant (artificial intelligence) that offers interactive actions and handsfree activation with the help of one "hot word" (or several "hot words"). Some smart speakers can also act as a smart device that utilizes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other wireless protocol standards to extend usage beyond audio playback, such as to control home automation devices. This can include, but is not be limited to, features such as compatibility across a number of services and platforms, peer-to-peer connection through mesh networking, virtual assistants, and others. Each can have its own designated interface and features in-house, usually launched or controlled via application or home automation software.[1] Some smart speakers also include a screen to show the user a visual response.

As of winter 2017, it is estimated by NPR and Edison Research that 39 million Americans (16% of the population over 18) own a smart speaker.[2]

Most popular smart speaker devices and platformsEdit

Virtual Assistant Owned by Devices No. of users Languages/Markets Notes
AliGenie Alibaba Group China Went on sale in August 2017
Amazon Alexa Amazon 31 million Echo devices in U.S. (January 2018)[3] (March 2018): English for US, UK, Ireland, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand; German (Germany, Austria); Japanese (Japan); French (France) "coming soon"[4]
Ambient OS Essential Products Essential Home (in development)
Apple Home Kit Apple, Inc. Invoxia Triby
Siri Apple, Inc. Apple HomePod February 2018: English for US, UK, Australia[5]
DuerOS Open Platform[6] Baidu Xiaoyu, RavenH, Aladdin ceiling-mounted smart speaker-lamp-projector[7][8] China Xiaoyu went on sale in Spring 2017.[6]
Clova Naver Corporation, Line Corporation Japanese and Korean for Japan and South Korea markets Introduced Summer 2017[9]
Google Assistant Google Google Home series: Home, Home Max, Home Mini 14 million Google Homes in U.S. (January 2018)[3] Languages March 2018: English (U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia), French (France, Canada), German, Japanese[10]
Beijing LingLong, part of JD DingDong Mandarin and Cantonese for Greater China In cooperation with Chinese AI firm iFlytek. Went on sale November 2016.[11]
Microsoft Cortana Microsoft Harman Kardon INVOKE English for US, Canada, Australia, India (January 2018)[12]
Xiaowei[6] Tencent forthcoming[6] China

GalleryEdit

The first-generation Amazon Echo smart speaker in black 
An Apple HomePod speaker 
The Google Home smart speaker idle on a table 
The Amazon Echo Show smart speaker in white 
The Harman Kardon INVOKE smart speaker in graphite 

ReferencesEdit