Digital assistants to be mainstream by 2019

Like it or not, we're all going to have Batman's Alfred Pennyworth soon. In a digital format, that is – but nonetheless a butler.

This was concluded by research specialists Gartner, which said that by 2019, at least a quarter of households in developed countries will use the services of a digital assistant, either on a smartphone, or in a standalone device.

That will be the primary interface in interacting with connected home services, moving us into the ‘post-app’ era.

"In the not-too-distant future, users will no longer have to contend with multiple apps; instead, they will literally talk to digital personal assistants such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant," said Mark O'Neill, research director at Gartner. "Some of these personal assistants are cloud-based and already beginning to leverage smart machine technology."

Even though some people are freaked out about these digital assistants, waving the privacy flag, it doesn’t seem as it will stop the majority from adopting the new technology. The key to this integration lies in APIs (application programming interface), Gartner says. APIs will allow different providers and services to come together and create ecosystems.

"APIs are the key to interoperating with new digital interfaces and a well-managed API programme is a key success factor for organisations that are interested in reaching consumers in their connected homes," said Mr O'Neill. "In the emerging programmable home, it is no longer best to spend time and money on developing individual apps. Instead, divert resources to APIs, which are the way to embrace the postapp world."

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