The Edge

What living in a voice-activated house is like

Key Points
  • Thirty-nine million Americans own a voice-activated speaker.
  • Ecobee manufactures voice-activated devices powered by Amazon Alexa that blend in with your household objects.
This light switch makes your whole house voice activated
This light switch makes your whole house voice activated

As more people use voice assistants, we're moving toward a future where our household devices can be controlled by talking to them.

"Voice technology has got significantly better, and it's the way we normally communicate," said Ecobee president and CEO Stuart Lombard. "It's the way we're communicating now. I don't have to get my phone, unlock the screen, find the app, navigate to what I want to do. I just say, 'Play my favorite music.'"

More than 39 million Americans own a voice-activated device. Ecobee is a smart device manufacturer whose products are powered by Amazon Alexa. The company plans to add other voice assistants at later dates. Most of Ecobee's more than 1 million customers are ages 35 to 44. However, about one-fifth are 45 to 54, and the company is seeing adoption across all age ranges, including older users.

Its thermostats and lights switches are voice activated, so they can blend in with the home. It also makes room sensors that can tell if people are in a certain room and adjust the lights and temperature accordingly.

"We were big proponents in that vision for far-field voice and the ability of voice to change the way we interact with our favorite internet services," Lombard said.

To see what a morning routine in a voice-activated house looks like, watch the video above.