Amazon has released a new range of smart home devices, with the aim of having everything voice-controlled, including a microwave, a clock and a light.
Amazon is currently rushing to fix a rather unusual problem with one of its products: Alexa.
Users have reported the smart assistant laughing for no reason at all
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Critically, what devices like this can do is educate consumers on their energy use, breaking down the cost and Co2 emissions of individual appliances within the home. Homeowners will be shocked to discover that simple things, such as keeping the fridge door open while deciding what to eat accounts for 7 percent of the appliance's total energy usage.
For a number of years now, the Internet of Things has been making itself felt around the home. From toasters connected to Wi-Fi to heating systems controlled from your phone, more and more of our household appliances are going online.
The reality of the situation is that society is not yet comfortable with embracing the technology we have watched destroy or take over the world in films time after time. But it is now becoming increasingly obvious that our negative perception is standing in the way of the potential for positive digital transformation and is an issue technology companies must address, if we are to embrace emerging technology.
The author of the TechRadar piece makes the point about the assistants needing to understand more complex things beyond just location. Don't get me wrong, location awareness is really important for lots of reasons but there are other more useful sensing capabilities.
AI in devices that has learned your habits can start to predict the experience that matches your needs in a given moment. So, for example, if everyone has left the house it knows not to turn on the lights. Or if you drive off to work, it will turn down the thermostat; and if everyone is out of the house, it knows to lock the doors.