CES 2017: VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS ARE EN ROUTE FROM BIG TECH
Posted on January 13, 2017
Restaurant recommendations and reservations,
upcoming appointment reminders as you drive—your next car is slated to quickly
become the savvy personal assistant you always dreamed of having. While she may
not be ready to iron your shirts or walk the dog at bedtime, auto-tech advances
are coming fast and furious, so who knows what’s around the corner?
At this year’s 50th anniversary Consumer
Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, there were a number of truly exciting new
automotive developments from Google, Amazon and Microsoft, and four of the top
car-makers were right on board. Some say it was quite possibly the year of the
car at this popular tech show. While variations on voice-activated assistants
have been around for some time now, the hottest new tech promises to offer
ever-increasing automotive connectivity, creating ecosystems for both your home
and car. Being stuck in traffic won’t necessarily mean you can’t attend to
business tasks or plans for future fun. Schedule meetings, talk-text, research
vacations, warm up the house in advance of landing back home: all will be
possible and hands-free.
If you want to start your car or adjust the heat/AC from the
office, or request details about your next destination, just say the word with
Google’s popular voice-activated Assistant. And Amazon’s coyly-named Alexa can
take you right back to where you left off in an audiobook, or—extra handy if
you’re not IN your car—give you stats on door locks, gas levels and required
parts for upcoming maintenance tasks. True enough, Apple has already been
giving drivers access to Siri in some car models, but now Microsoft’s Cortana
is definitely poised to compete in the automotive realm, snagging serious interest
from some of the top manufacturers.
And while we’ll still have to keep our eyes firmly on the
road to prevent dangerous distracted driving, big tech seems keen to make our
lives that much easier by leaps and bounds. Eventually, you’ll be able to sit
back and watch a movie while your car drives you home, but
till then, car-makers are rightly focused on safe use of any new technology.
It’s definitely an exciting time to plan for your next car.
After all, what could be better after a long day than climbing behind the wheel
and simply calling out to your virtual assistant, “Table for 2, Italian, 7:30”
and just looking forward to dinner?