The Artificial Intelligence Offensive:


There is a battle being waged by the biggest tech companies as to who will be most successful in placing their software into every aspect of your life.  Already carried around in your phone, skirmishes over the proliferation of a digital assistant into your car and your home will continue.  Gartner research shows that people will spend $1 trillion on the “internet of things” by 2020.  Additional research by Statista shows those same people will spend over $50 billion on smart home technology in 2022 (an increase of 60% over the $31 billion spent in 2018).  The race to capture those consumer spending dollars is very much underway.
Dominating the artificial intelligence / digital assistance race right now is the category of smart speakers.  Amazon has the biggest market share at 69%, with Google following at 31% (statistics from CNET).  Earlier this month Apple entered the market with its new HomePod speaker which will change the market share makeup by the end of 2018.  A lot can be learned about how this technology war will play out by looking at what the three dominant companies are doing to attack the clear opportunities in front of them.
Google has identified Amazon with its Alexa and Echo devices as the most pressing rival.  The first battle plan has been implemented with Google moving the Nest business unit back under corporate control from where it had been operating autonomously since its acquisition a little over three years ago.  The most obvious reason for the change is to make it easier for the Google assistant to be further developed and implemented along with new Nest products that hit the market.
Amazon is continuing the hardball stance from years past as they continue to not sell the Google Home and to only sell select Nest products.  While Apple is certainly late to the party they will be a force to be reckoned with.  It is obvious that the key to unlocking future consumer dollar riches for these competitors lies with the adoption of the digital voice assistants into everything around the consumer both inside and outside the smart home.  With this week’s acquisition of Ring, the leading smart doorbell maker, Amazon is positioned for battle with the Nest Hello product scheduled to be released soon.  Stay tuned as there hasn’t been a slowdown of activity by these industry leaders since the Consumer Electronics show in January; there are significant developments being announced on a regular basis.

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