Internet of Things Tracker: Will Virtual Assistants Put Automakers In The IoT Fast Lane?

Internet of Things Tracker™ - January 2017

As IoT connectivity expands, the distance between the inside of a home and a vehicle parked inside the garage is getting much shorter.

Vehicles are not the only consumer products that are getting IoT connectivity upgrades. Companies are finding new ways to introduce connectivity to various household items, from large devices like kitchen appliances to smaller goods such as hair brushes. The January Internet of Things™ Tracker keeps tabs on how greater connectivity is incorporating into devices both inside and outside the home.

What’s happening in the IoT ecosystem?

In the IoT age, it seems there are opportunities to introduce connectivity in everyday items, both large and small.

Smaller items that received a big boost in connectivity in recent weeks include a new hair brush from Kérastase that can analyze a user’s hair data and deliver product recommendations through a smartphone app. Meanwhile, Mattel introduced a new smart baby monitor that can read bedtime stories, play lullabies and remind parents to buy diapers.

Kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures are among the larger items that are seeing greater IoT connectivity and new ways to keep consumers connected from various locations inside a home. Moen debuted a new Wi-Fi-enabled shower that can be controlled using a smartphone app and can display messages and notifications on an LCD screen. Kitchen appliances are also becoming more connected as companies like Whirlpool revealed plans to integrate Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant into the company’s appliances.

As it turns out, Alexa is not only finding a new home in the kitchen but in the garage as well. Several automakers, including Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen, are incorporating virtual assistants into to their vehicles’ designs. With the technology in place, vehicle owners can use voice commands, such as “Alexa, start the car” or “Alexa, set my car’s thermostat to 75 degrees,” from inside the comfort of their home. For the January cover story, PYMNTS spoke with Cason Grover, who oversees Hyundai Motor America’s connected car program, about how virtual assistants could change traditional perceptions of automobiles.

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 To download the January edition of the Internet of Things Tracker™, click the button below…


About The Tracker

The Internet of Things Tracker™ showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Internet of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem and in several categories, including Personal, Home, Retail, Transportation, Wearable, Mobile, Infrastructure, Data and more.