Novy: Talking tech

Owain Harrison explains the importance of voice activation in the connected home

26 Nov, 18

Country manager of Novy UK Owain Harrison says voice activation will drive the connected home and kitchen appliance sales.

A recent feature about connected living in Kitchens & Bathrooms News included a variety of differing viewpoints about the future of Wi-Fi enabled appliances.

Novy: Talking tech

For my part, I firmly believe homes of the future will increasingly feature lighting, heating and appliances with in-built connectivity.

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The brands that will succeed in this arena are those that develop products which keep the technology discreet, simple to navigate, are harmonious across multiple platforms and offer real benefits for the user.

Meeting with directors of top tier kitchen showrooms around the country, I am aware a large number of specialists currently eschew the idea of connected appliances, while others are either pragmatic or neutral.

I can understand a beautiful and minimalist kitchen design does not need to draw the eye to lots of busy appliance control panels with different coloured apps and logos.

Nor is it useful that so many apps (currently) require their own individual OS, meaning complexity in operation.

But, these are mainly the issues of mid-market brands.

Talk the talk

At the premium tier, exciting activities are taking place because of voice activation.

Using a central hub, like Google’s Home or Amazon Alexa, it’s not difficult to believe that this will be the game-changer to change the minds of the many…

You no longer have to be James Bond to be able to adjust the music and lighting in your home by talking.

Thanks to the rising sales of home hubs together with Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, users of all ages are getting used to controlling their machines by talking to them.

It is interesting to note recent market research indicates most voice-assistants are currently purchased to be situated in kitchens.

And by 2020, there will be more virtual assistants than people.

Google also states that by 2020, 50% of all searches on their platform will happen by voice.

While many hubs are mainly used for music and radio, they are also really useful timers for cooking.

You can ask Google or Alexa for a recipe and it is automatically sent to your phone in written form, or you can listen to it.

With compatible smart products, Alexa, for example, can also switch on the lights, adjust the heating and choose the right laundry programme for you.

Shopfloor speech

So, how can smart technology benefit users of premium appliances?

Easily when it comes to extraction, for example.

Following on from Novy’s InTouch technology, which uses radio frequencies to communicate between the induction hob and the hood above, Novy Connect was launched at this year’s FTK.

FTK is the Technology for the Kitchen event at Eurocucina, and the technology is available across all platforms.

Together with an app, Novy Connect uses voice-activation to control the extraction speed of the appliance, as well as the LED illumination.

Voice activation is not just for use in people’s homes, it can also be sued to great advantage in kitchen showrooms when demonstrating the appliance.

We know that retailers always love a talking point, and to activate the product all they actually need to do is talk.

Most of all, you can adjust all the settings, including the all important mood lighting in the showroom, without having to lift a finger.

For all kitchen specialists, connected appliances are a license to thrill..!