Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
  1. Homepage
  2. Equities
  3. United States
  4. Nasdaq
  5. Alphabet Inc.
  6. News
  7. Summary
    GOOGL   US02079K3059


SummaryMost relevantAll NewsAnalyst Reco.Other languagesPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener Strategies

Smart Speakers Go Beyond Waiting to Be Asked

05/10/2021 | 04:14am EDT

By Ann-Marie Alcántara

Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Amazon.com Inc. are experimenting with features for their smart-home devices that more proactively assist users instead of waiting to be called on each time.

Google's newest Nest Hub device can automatically deploy radar to track users' sleep patterns every night, once they set up the feature. The device uses microphones and sound, light and temperature sensors to monitor coughing, snoring and other factors that can affect how well a person sleeps.

The Amazon Echo Show 10 automatically moves its display to face the user, even if it is performing a task that doesn't need user input, like showing a recipe on the screen.

Proactive or not, features in smart-home devices need to address a real user need, not stack the product with unnecessary and potentially confusing tools, said Ashton Udall, senior product manager at Google. The company developed sensor technology to monitor sleep, for example, because its research showed that consumers frequently forget to use or charge the wearables often employed for sleep tracking, or find the devices uncomfortable, he said.

Amazon and Google hope the experiences will help them compete for users and more fully integrate their devices into people's lives.

Smart-speaker adoption continued to increase during the pandemic, with about 94 million people in the U.S. estimated to own at least one smart speaker in 2021, up from 76 million in 2020, according to data from Edison Research. Twenty-four percent of Americans own Amazon's Echo devices and 13% own Google devices, with people who have smart speakers having 2.3 speakers per home on average, according to the data.

But while adoption has increased, device owners tend to try fewer new activities over time, researchers said. Proactive user experiences give tech companies another chance to present how useful smart devices can be, said Tom Webster, senior vice president at Edison Research.

Seamless features that create less friction for common tasks is one way to encourage people to keep trying new activities with these devices, including common tasks such as video calls, he said.

"And if the device kind of invisibly makes that easier, that's really the key to getting people to adopt new behaviors," Mr. Webster said.

But consumers still think about voice assistants as command-driven tools, voice technology experts say.

"There's this delicate balance between how to communicate proactively that I can do these things for you, but also being at your beck and call and unobtrusive," said Eric Turkington, vice president of strategic partnerships at RAIN Technology Inc., a voice and conversational artificial-intelligence firm.

Google announced updates coming to its smart-home devices with screens last year that proactively address some common tasks. The displays show different user interfaces that change throughout the day, showing the weather at one point, for example, and users' upcoming meetings at another time. In the evening, the device suggests ways for users to wind down, such as listening to relaxing sounds.

Nest Hub devices also automatically enlarge the information on their screens when people are farther away and surface more granular details as people get closer.

Proactive user experiences in smart-home technology are still nascent, said Toni Reid, vice president of the Alexa experience at Amazon.

"It can be absolutely magical -- but you also can get it wrong," Ms. Reid said. "And so you need to make sure that what you're building actually does create delight."

"The more that a truly ambient experience that's happening and it is proactive and it is helping the customer, it actually reduces the burden or cognitive load on a customer to have to think about all the things that Alexa might be capable of doing," Ms. Reid added.

Product features designed to anticipate someone's needs, like car headlights that automatically turn on at night, have been around for many years. But technologies like smart-home devices have a chance to help users with mundane, everyday tasks, said Ben Williams, global chief experience officer at R/GA, a digital agency owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.

"We've grown tired of repeat functions," Mr. Williams said.

Write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at ann-marie.alcantara@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-10-21 0614ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. -0.17% 2442.54 Delayed Quote.39.36%
AMAZON.COM, INC. -0.05% 3503.82 Delayed Quote.7.58%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.21% 33874.24 Delayed Quote.10.91%
THE INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC. 0.31% 32.04 Delayed Quote.36.22%
All news about ALPHABET INC.
12:31aEMEA MORNING BRIEFING  : Uncertainty Over Fed Stimulus Outlook to Hold Back Stoc..
06/23EQS-NEWS  : Maps.me Announces New Cashback Partnership with Booking.com Leading ..
06/23EQS-NEWS : Newborn Town Inc. Received 'Buy Rating' from Sinolink Securities with..
06/23National antitrust watchdogs want more say in enforcing EU tech rules
06/23FACEBOOK  : Brazilian Senate to hear Google, Facebook, Twitter in pandemic probe
06/23OLB Shares Rise 21% After Using SecurePay to Support Sale of NFTs
06/23STREET COLOR : Alphabet Announces Launch of Google Cloud Community
06/23U.S. senator presses Amazon, Google on Matter smart-home effort
06/23Mediaset's Dutch move gets green light in boost to M&A push
06/23EQS-NEWS  : Dynamic Data Development AG successfully completes capital increase ..
More news
Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 236 B - -
Net income 2021 58 816 M - -
Net cash 2021 141 B - -
P/E ratio 2021 27,9x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 1 665 B 1 665 B -
EV / Sales 2021 6,46x
EV / Sales 2022 5,46x
Nbr of Employees 139 995
Free-Float 90,2%
Duration : Period :
Alphabet Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends ALPHABET INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 48
Last Close Price 2 442,54 $
Average target price 2 797,91 $
Spread / Average Target 14,5%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Sundar Pichai Chief Executive Officer & Director
Ruth M. Porat Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
John LeRoy Hennessy Chairman
Louis John Doerr Independent Director
Ann Mather Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
ALPHABET INC.39.36%1 664 953
BAIDU, INC.-12.52%66 891
YANDEX N.V.-0.45%24 720
SOGOU INC.2.70%3 246