Amazon continues to change the face of search advertising and marketing. The company has announced two Alexa-enabled devices that use the same voice search and virtual assistant technology as Echo,
an Internet-connected speaker with voice-enabled search services.
Tap, a portable wireless speaker, integrates Amazon's Alexa Voice Service. The technology allows users to tap the microphone button and ask for music, hear the news, search for information, and order a pizza, among other things.
Echo Dot, a hands-free voice controlled device, uses the same far-field voice recognition as Echo. If users directly connect Echo Dot to speakers with an audio cable or via Bluetooth, they can add voice-control to their home stereo system. The small speaker becomes a voice assistant to control smart-home devices.
These devices -- along with services like Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Now -- are only the beginning of an onslaught of Internet-connected devices that will turn search into a utility. In the process of forging ahead with technology, the technology companies continue to change how search services will look and act and in the future.
It may take some time, but the world won't need as many traditional search engines because the ability to retrieve information will become a utility for products, said Scott Shamberg, president at Performics U.S., during an earlier discussion. "Google does a good job of this already," he says. "It's partly based on making it easier to get information and the other part on technology."
Unfortunately, the growth of Internet-connected devices continues to spark a dark side, making it easy for thieves to access personal information through search engines such as Shodan that scans the Web looking for vulnerabilities. This particular engine can look inside homes through Webcams, listen into conversations through baby monitors, and even connect and interrupt service on electrical power grids.