The coronavirus could slow down production of smart speakers. Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures smart speakers through the Belkin and Wemo brands, has halted production in China, while their facilities in Mexico and Vietnam are at full capacity. A statement from Foxconn maintained that they are following all recommend health practices from the federal Chinese government as well as local governments. The statement read,
” We are also working with the local governments to facilitate the necessary preparations for our employees to safely return to work. The operation schedules for our facilities in China follow the recommendations of the local governments, and we have not received any requests from our customers on the need to resume production earlier.”
Aside from smart speakers, Foxconn also produces technology for:
- Nokia: Android phones and accessories
- SHARP: TVs, monitors, cell phones, air purifiers, kitchen and beauty appliances
- Linksys: Wi-Fi routers, range extenders, USB adapters
- PHYN: Smart water assistant, water and leak monitors
Foxconn also manufactures parts used in the Apple supply chain through Cocoro Life, which sells iPhones, iPads, Macs and related accessories. Aside from the technology industry, the coronavirus has also halted the manufacturing and selling of airline tickets, automobiles and products from Procter & Gamble whose brands include Tide, Pampers and bounty, among other household names.
Smart Speaker Ownership Increases in United States
Although the coronavirus will slow down production, smart speaker ownership rose by 13.7% in the United States from 2019 to 2020. This year, over 83 million people in the United States will own smart speakers, according to estimates from eMarketer. Echo devices will maintain their stronghold on the market with 69.7% of the market share, while Google’s smart speakers account for about a third of the market. As of now, it’s unclear exactly how much coronavirus will impact smart speaker ownership in the United States.
What is the best smart speaker?
The best smart speaker of 2020 is the Amazon Echo Plus. With its simple setup and full compatibility with other smart home products, this device continues to set the gold standard for smart speakers. We love the Dolby technology built into this speaker, ensuring a crisp and resonant output for music, Alexa communication, and just about any other sound you could imagine. Speaking of other sounds, the Echo Plus also features an intercom mode, allowing you to send messages throughout your home to other Alexa enabled devices. This device also features customizable security controls, allowing you to turn off the microphones for privacy.
What can smart speakers do?
If you think of your home as human body, then a smart speaker is akin to the central nervous system, essential for controlling the rest of the body (or in this case, the other connected devices in your home). Through Wi-Fi, smart speakers can hear your voice commands and perform an astounding array of functions, whether that’s playing a song, messaging a friend, or ordering paper towels from Amazon. All of the devices listed here are operated primarily through voice control, ensuring that whatever you need is but a few syllables away.
Are smart speakers always listening?
Smart speakers are always listening for their wake word. However, most of them only record after the user says the wake word.