Winning from Home, with a Smart Voice Assistant

Throw out all the old rules of office politics, travel timetables and awkward elevator silences, because times they are a changing; the future is virtual. So how will you fare in this new normal?

Whether you are back to the office, furloughed, working from home or somewhere in between, we have all had to spend a lot more time at home in 2020. Which may be fine if you live in a country mansion with hot tub video conferencing. But perhaps not so easy in a 7th floor studio apartment with dodgy Wifi and a heavy metal band living in the flat upstairs.

Either way, more and more people are looking at ways to get the most out of their home life through smart technology. The stattos at reckon that 49% of adults in Britain aged 25 to 34 years have used a virtual assistant smart speaker. And, seven out of 10 people who own a voice-controlled device now use it on a daily basis, up from four in 10 a year ago. Now, that might have just been to save them the hassle of loading up iTunes to find that Stormzy track they heard at Glasto, or asking Alexa for the weather forecast so they can plan that socially-distanced park meetup with their new Bae, nowadays there are less and less reasons to not have a Smart Voice Assistant.

From setting timers while cooking, to calling friends without pressing any buttons, the devices enable multitasking and support people’s busy lifestyles. But for those who are not confident using technology or have a disability that makes using a keyboard or screen interface challenging, the technology may be life-changing.

Voice Assistants are typically easy to use, with no fiddly buttons or complicated on-screen instructions. Once set-up, users can retrieve information from the Web, select entertainment, contact friends, and make restaurant bookings without lifting a finger.

A retirement facility in San Diego is reportedly experimenting with the devices as a way to support assisted living. Residents use voice assistants to set alarms, call their families and check the weather forecast. One resident, a 79-year old with hand tremors, finds it easier and faster than screen-based browsers to use his device to search the Web. Similar UK trials are taking place including in Hampshire where the technology is used to support adult social services and help address social isolation.

But more importantly, with yesterday's announcement of pubs to close at 10pm, now might be a good time to invest in Home Technology to set that perfect romantic mood lighting ready for your return, or maybe to remind you in the morning where you parked your car.

With this in mind, your friendly tech gurus at Oxford Home Technology ( ) have compiled a list of handy guides on Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants for your perusal...

Best smart speakers 2020 - the best virtual assistants for ... Any smart speaker with Alexa or Google Assistant will work with Spotify Premium, but in our eyes the Bose Portable is the best smart speaker for the job.

The Best Voice Assistants of 2020 | Smart speakers and hubs came out on top. Add to this the fact that the majority of people use voice commands when home alone, according to a 2019 Perficient Digital survey, and you have good reason that your voice assistant should be accessible via smart speaker. Google, Amazon, and Apple all offer various smart speakers and hubs that run their voice assistants.

Smart Home Week: A guide to voice assistants

In this guide, you’ll find:

  • The rundown on the biggest and best names in the voice assistant market

  • How you can do everything from ordering pizza to booking flights with just a few words

  • And some of the ways that we use our virtual assistants to make our lives easier

10 best smart speakers for immersive sound and virtual ... Author: David Phelan

Best smart speaker for you: Here's your guide | CNN ... 17/04/2020 · Smart speakers are all the rage. Alexa, the friendly virtual assistant that started this whole craze way back in 2014, now resides with the Google Assistant and Apple's Siri as the big three ...

8 Best Smart Speakers (2020): Alexa, Google Assistant ... With a wireless subwoofer, room-filling virtual surround sound, and Amazon's Alexa onboard, the Yamaha YAS-209 is the best smart soundbar you can buy right now. It's compatible with Spotify ...

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