Virtual Assistants: Devices That Can Make Your Life More Comfortable
For years the mobile telephony sector has set itself the goal of making our lives easier . Progressively improvements and updates have been added to our terminals that have converted them into smartphones, that is, smartphones.
Experts agree that, although technological development began much earlier, true intelligence came to our mobile phones with the incorporation of the first virtual assistants , those applications , which often have female voices like Siri or Cortana, who help us in the realization of different tasks .
Call your contacts, send text messages or emails, set alarms, search websites, find answers to questions, organize the calendar, learn your tastes… the list of skills of a virtual assistant is very extensive and is expected to increase with the technological improvements.
So that you are up to date if you already use them or to know them if you are the ones that only remember that they exist when they are activated by mistake, today we bring you a list of the best virtual assistants and their main characteristics.
Initially Siri offered a limited set of answers to basic questions, was able to contact a small group of web services and could even make a reservation at a restaurant. Today you can read notifications and emails, write messages and even Facebook and Twitter publications, help us with our agenda, etc. Siri is probably the best-known virtual assistant . At first it was developed as an independent application, but its leap to fame came from the hand of Apple, when, in 2011, the technology giant incorporated it integrally to his iPhone 4S.
Although in general Siri is a great virtual assistant with a great synchronization with the rest of applications , it presents disadvantages compared to other present assistants. The most obvious is that it is only available for Apple devices : iPhones, Macs and Ipads.
Secondly, it seems that Siri does not have the capacity for learning of our personal tasteswith which other assistants are endowed. Finally, we can not forget that Siri, unlike Cortana or Bixby, only allows voice conversation , making it difficult to use them in situations in which we can not speak.
Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant . It is seamlessly integrated into Windows 10 and is also available as a standalone app on iOS, Android and Xbox systems. In addition, recently the automotive groups Nissan and BMW have announced that they will incorporate it in their new generations of vehicles.
Generally, Cortana is very similar to Siri in its functions, but presents some advantages. The most outstanding is that the system has a specific section where you collect your personal information : places of interest, news sources you like or even the hours you do not want to be disturbed. Later you can modify the data collected and, depending on the situation, the assistant will automatically present you with tips and suggestions .
Another advantage of Cortana is that you can not only give voice commands, but you can do it with the keyboard, making it easy to use in places where voice recognition would have problems working, such as noisy environments.
The only point where the Microsoft wizard flicks before the Apple is the synchronization with other applications of the device, which is smaller .
Although we can think of Google Now as an extension of Google’s search capabilities, in practice it can carry out the same tasks as Siri or Cortana. Also, if you allow, Google Now will use your search history to customize your responses . This means that, for example, if you ask him to show you what is happening in the world, he will show you the articles in which he is supposed to be interested. Google Now is Google’s smart assistant. It’s different from Siri and Cortana, since Android is available within the Google Search application. However, it also has an application for iOS accessible through Google Chrome.
The main advantage of this wizard is that it is integrated with Google, the most used search portal, so if you also use it can be very useful. As a disadvantage, some users complain about security failures due to privacy issues, since Google usually has a lot of information about the user.
Bixby is the last virtual assistant to join the list. It was recently developed by Samsung and is currently only available in the latest mobile versions of the company, Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
It has been presented with the desire to differentiate itself from the rest of the audience, since its fundamental principle is “that everything you can do by playing, you can do it speaking”. In this way, the assistant is able to rotate photographs with the voice or apply a filter.
In addition, you can also carry out the other functions of a virtual assistant, such as organizing the agenda, show you suggestions or answer your questions.
But not everything are advantages. The main drawback is that, for the moment, it is only available on Samsung and, moreover, can only be found in English and Korean .
The device that houses Alexa is something like a cylindrical shaped speaker that has been called Amazon Echo. The main advantage is that it can be placed anywhere in the house, being able to solve doubts and accomplish tasks without anyone approaching or pressing any button. Each time you hear her name, Alexa will turn on and you may be asked to do things like turn on the bedroom lights or start the washer. Alexa is the virtual assistant with which Amazon has deployed all its artillery. It has been developed with the will to become an indispensable help for the home and daily tasks, so it is the first that has a physical format.
Alexa is having a lot of success in the United States and there are many brands of appliances, cars and other devices that have shown great interest in integrating it. In fact, this year Alexa is expected to land on the mobile ecosystem in the hands of Huawei.
For now, the biggest disadvantage is that it is only available in English and German. We must wait for Amazon to develop it in other languages.
Despite the large number of existing virtual assistants, they still have much to improve; are still not those robots that we see in science fiction films capable of developing any activity. What is clear is that all of them are increasingly present in our day to day life and that can make our lives easier.