The market for artificial intelligence (AI) speakers with voice assistant functions is expected to fade away in the near future. This is because AI speaker makers are coming up with screen-mounted AI speaker products one after another so AI speakers will be called AI displays before long.
According to industry watchers on September 26, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Lenovo will launch AI speakers with a big screen around 10 inches this fall to preempt the emerging market.
Amazon unveiled a second-generation model of its AI speaker “Eco Show” with a screen at its Seattle headquarters on September 20 (local time). Compared to the first-generation model that had a seven-inch screen, the new model has a bigger screen which is 10 inches. In fact, the market of the new product is overlapping with that of tablet PCs.
Facebook will also release two smart speakers, codenamed 'Aloha' and 'Fiona', this fall. One will come with a 15-inch screen and the other with a small screen.
Google's "Google Home Hub," which was unveiled on the next day, also has a large screen. Google Home Hub is more characterized by its screen than its speaker. The speaker has a seven-inch screen and features card-like views of the Google Maps and Weather services. It has plenty of room to show a variety of features that work with YouTube in the future.
In the same month, Lenovo will release its AI display 'Smart Display 10'. The company scratched off the word 'speaker' from the name and the word ‘display’ took the place. It is a device that works with the Google Assistant. JBL's "Link View" launched last month also features speakers on both sides of a seven-inch screen. The speaker offers the Google Assistant service and comes with a 500-megapixel camera.
This market trend shows that while manufacturers targeted consumers with low specifications and prices over the past three years, now they are showing their willingness to preempt the market by connecting high-end products with video contents.
"Lately, the mass media have been using the term ‘smart display’ more often than the term ‘AI speaker’ and smart speakers in recent years," said Digital Trends, an IT media outlet. "If a screen is mounted on an AI speaker, consumers will be able to enjoy more contents and Google can increase its ad revenue."