Digital Assistants

The virtual and digital world is in many ways making life easier and quite convenient. There are many applications being created which enable our smart phones and other electronics devices do so much more than would have been deemed possible a few decades back. Some of the functions are just an upgrade of what was not fully exploited in other devices while some are totally new and exciting. Besides the electronic gadgets out to make virtual reality ‘real’ like the goggles and virtual storage that comes with cloud computing, there are also virtual assistants that come in handy in many ways based on what it is they are enabled or programmed to do.

Some time before the digital revolution it was still possible to call a contact using voice prompts on your phone. Some Nokia phones like 3310 had such features and looked quite advanced. The voice can still be used to do even much more with the smart phones and digital assistants. Siri is one of the applications developed to be a digital or virtual assistant for Apple products- ipads, ipods and iphones among others. Once installed, it gets customized based on the way it is connected and used. It uses voice prompts and can be made to do many things especially with other electronic devices that it can connect to. Siri can be used to place a call, read texts messages before they are sent by the user if he is in a car and is using hands free kit or head phones. It can turn on music, remind the user of an event and even be give directions and suggestions on how to get to a certain place or do a certain thing. It is an intelligent assistant and can have a conversation with someone and even answer any question. Siri picks information from Wikipedia and all the online resources it accesses so as to respond to any queries. It is more of a companion and friend though virtual.

Alexas is another application that uses voice prompts to do much for the user. It can turn into a remote control for connected devices, play one’s favorite music, give weather updates, manage a diary or schedule and remind one of engagements marked on the Google calendar. Also, it can answer any queries and even give opinions on any topic of discussion. Like Siri, it gets its information from internet sources and is quite ‘intelligent’. When connected to the internet, it can stream your music, radio and news live besides controlling your other smart devices in the house. The more one interacts with Alexa the more it customizes their experience by using the data collected. This data and operations of Alexas are based on the cloud computing and can be scaled higher with more use. Alexas can also be used for business for instance it can be used in a music shop where customers can actually ask it to play their favorite songs or for information concerning what it is they are interested in getting.  One can very easily exercise control over the smart devices at home from whatever place they are with this application. Alexas can lock the house, control the home temperature via the air conditioner, dim the lights or switch on a television or microwave so long as they are smart devices

Google Home is another digital assistant that works almost as similarly to Alexas save for a few things. It can control some electronics in the house, answer questions and give opinions on some things. Although it does not control as many smart devices as Alexas can, it also uses internet resources and has the advantage of the Google search engines hence has a vast variety of sources from which it draws the answers it gives. Both use voice commands and one needs to check them out to compare what they can or cannot do.