Home speakers hear it all

In 2014, Amazon released their Echo Dot, which was the catalyst to a whole trend of voice controlled speakers.

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In 2014, Amazon released their Echo Dot, which was the catalyst to a whole trend of voice controlled speakers.

Voice controlled home speakers have become typical items in modern American homes. Amazon was the catalyst of the trend, creating the “Alexa” and “Echo Dot” systems in 2014, but now Google and Apple have released similar devices that also respond to verbal demands. Most recently, Apple released the “HomePod,” and Google released Google Home and Google Home Mini.

 These devices are, in theory, a hands-free way to control your home, access the internet, or even order a pizza. They’re practically a glorified Siri. The real issue with these speakers is that in order to obey everything you say, they hear everything you say. For this reason they are often called Trojan horses of the smart home. These companies record your words through the device and use it for improvements, but a lot of people would consider that an invasion of privacy. Some people have started to question who can hear them, because it’s certainly not just Alexa.

 Amazon, Google, and Apple may have to make some changes if they want to continue to sell their speaker systems. Their convenience may come at the price of privacy.