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Home, Where Are You?

Scouring both the Global Sources Show and Hong Kong Electronics Fair last week, I came across lots of examples of Alexa Voice Service being worked on by OEM and ODM speaker makers. In comparison, six months ago, there were only a small number of companies outwardly advertising Alexa at the same fairs but this time, it was hard not to come across any every 10 minutes.

What was surprisingly absent was the mention of Google Cast or Embedded Google Assistant SDK by the same speaker makers. Also, nearly every IOT hub display (lights, switches, etc) presented an Echo for controlling an IOT product. After two days, I could only find one Google Home being used in such a display.

While Amazon is regularly big player at these shows as a distribution channel for the Amazon sellers who attend, the presentation of Alexa integration by so many manufacturers showed a further gap between Google and Amazon in getting adoption of ambient voice interaction. Not only does Google need to get consumer adoption, they have their work cut out for them in getting hardware partners on board.

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