The looming end of the smart speaker

The days of the smart speaker are numbered. And though they won’t say it aloud, the tech titans that manufacture the devices are totally fine with it.

Initially introduced in 2014, the Amazon Echo was the first WiFi-enabled speaker of its kind. By simply stating “Alexa,” the name of Amazon’s digital assistant, users could listen to music, inquire about the weather, and control automated devices connected to its hub like lights, thermostats, and appliances.

Spurred by Amazon’s success, other tech giants quickly followed suit. Last year, Google released its version, Google Home, and Apple announced the Siri-equipped HomePod this past June. Microsoft has also unveiled a smart speaker loaded with its digital assistant Cortana.

Now, in the near term, sales of these devices will continue to rise — especially as companies release additional products into market. But as the underlying technology that powers smart speakers matures, the devices themselves will lose their usefulness.

Read more here.