Internet-connected lights, locks and laundry machines are close to becoming everyday household items. Voice-activated speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home are a big part of the reason.
The Echo’s Alexa and Google’s assistant can take voice commands to play your favorite music or check the weather. The more people use such speakers, the more things they want them to do.
Market researchers say that often leads them to other smart gadgets for the home.
Buying one — say, a remote-control plug for a light — makes it easier for people to buy more. People then tell friends and neighbors, or buy some as gifts.
Questions remain over security and privacy of these devices. But analysts say the bigger hurdles are cost and awareness.