Michael Kaufman: Talk to Your (Internet of) Things

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, so does the need for a simple and effective means of giving the system commands. The idea of using voice command to fill this need is not a new topic in the pages of The Architechnologist…

A busy cook might ask her refrigerator whether it has any milk and the fridge would respond, while automatically syncing the shopping list on her smart phone.
— “Why Stop at Voice Search?” The Architechnologist, October 22, 2012

With the success of Amazon’s Echo device as an IoT interface (working particularly well with Samsung’s SmartThings hub), voice control has been proven as far more than a concept. In 2012, The Architechnologist met the team creating the Ubi, a device that promised ambient voice interaction, and immediately saw the potential but knew it was going to be an uphill battle for them as other hardware wasn’t ready for such a dramatically new interface.