While sales numbers of AI devices are increasing they still have a long way to go before they become a true “mass market” product even with lower prices.
I recently made the mistake of purchasing an Amazon Echo Spot which is now on its way back to Amazon. The device was essentially useless because I use an iPhone and so do 90% of my contacts.
You can’t message or call anyone from the Echo if they own an iPhone unless they have the Alexa app on their phone. In addition, Alexa is not set up to get basic information like flight arrival and departure status. So really what you’re paying for is a talking device to tell you the time and weather and maybe play a game. Sorry, I don’t need that.
While some journalists are promoting AI device sales they have a long, long way to go before they truly become a mass market item. Sure, you can turn on the lights or set the temperature via these devices, but that’s going to set you back more money for a Nest thermostat or Bluetooth outlets or light bulbs. To me, that’s money that can be better spent.
The root of the problem is that Apple, Google and Amazon have their own infrastructure. People on Android phones can’t use Apple’s iChat and each has limitations on interacting with other devices. For most consumers this is a really big issue.
There may be uses for these devices in the future, especially on the health care side of the business, but until they become easier to send messages, receive email or integrate with our mobile devices they are just expensive paperweights. By the way if you need technical support for the Echo you are going to talk to someone in India who doesn’t speak very good English.