Just for fun, if we look at the Google Home and Amazon Echo, and similar products, what are some of the things that we could expect to see if things develop on pace for the next 5 years?
First, we’re likely to see Internet connectivity move away from WiFi and towards 5G. Everything will have its own modem and “offline” will be a less known thing. If a 5G connection fails, the device will piggy back off of its neighbours connection.
For voice, we’ll likely see the mic arrays disappear to the background. If they are still in a singular device, they’ll likely be very sensitive and both onboard and cloud voice processing will likely exceed our own speech recognition capabilities. What might be interesting if microphone-embedded devices share their feeds. This way, they can form a large microphone array that can beam form around speakers or eliminate a lot of noise sources for speech recognition. The barrier to this would be device companies playing nicely together.
Another interesting feature of these devices might be local based distributed computing. Imagine if the speech recognition software could be loaded among devices in an edge network. This could allow for speech results in the tens of milliseconds and potentially running of NLU services.
Instead of LED rings, new materials may make it possible to completely change the colour of the device altogether to reflect different indicators. Pico projectors may also get to much better quality that because multiple devices are projecting, can alter the environment.
The other aspect of these devices may be the materials themselves: oleophobic, antimicrobial, and IP7 rated. Maybe they’ll even have self-healing materials.
In all likelihood, we’ll see more devices blend to the background and become part of our environment, rather than seeming like a “device”.