This last holiday might have been one of the best for smart speakers with digital assistants (Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa), selling millions of units between Black Friday and the end of December. Thanks to that, smart homes are growing across the country faster than ever, as consumers seek out the many devices that work with these assistants.
Although you heard about a lot of people getting their hands on various forms of the Echo and Google speakers, you didn’t hear a lot of people bragging about their new Amazon Echo Show or Spot (given, there are a few here and there). Released last year, both of these units bring video into the mix, allowing you to do more than just “drop in” on a family member’s speaker for voice communication. Now you can video chat with them as well. Now, Amazon seems to be making a harder push for these as well, with their first commercial that just went live.
Using a tear-jerking scenario where a family is wrapping up their visit with the grandmother who appears to be living by herself. She seems to feel quite down about their departure as she watches them pile into their car and drive away. Thankfully, she gets a surprise delivery from Amazon, which she unwrapped to find a brand new Echo Spot (the more compact video device between the two) inside. She (somehow) flawlessly sets it up to work on her WiFi (they of course don’t show this) and “dials home” with it, to find her family waiting on the other side. It’s a lovely scene, and it hits you right where it counts.
It’s funny that companies have tried approaching video chat from a stationary screen somewhere in the house many times in the past. There was even a pyramid scheme company that was trying to sell them left and right about 8-9 years ago. None of it took off (the market just wasn’t ready for it). However, it seems Amazon has waited just for the right time, allowing technology to catch up to the idea (the success of Apple’s Facetime was probably their sign to make their move). At first, I thought how many people would be interested in the Echo Show when it was first announced (based on the success of those companies in the past), but it seems to be slowly growing into something that might become one of the hits for 2018 (who knows). What I do know, is that HD video, faster WiFi and internet speeds, smart homes, and digital assistants are the perfect combination of variables to make it all possible.