8 smart speakers to look forward to in 2019
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8 smart speakers to look forward to in 2019

The next 12 months should see some major updates for our favorite smart home products

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What all of these devices — the Echos and Home Hubs of this world — have in common is a voice assistant and the ability to control our homes. The assistants got smarter in 2018, and will continue to do so in 2019, while their ability to take control of evermore aspects of our homes will doubtless continue into the new year.

Although these products are generally not on the same regimented annual upgrade cycle as smartphones, where version two follows version three as surely as day follows night, we can still look ahead to what might be launched in 2019 with some certainty.

Here are the smart home products we're looking forward to the most in 2019.

Amazon Echo Look 2

Amazon

Amazon's curious Echo Look got off to a slow start when it launched in April 2017. At first only available by invitation, the Look uses a camera and artificial intelligence to provide outfit advice. Given the current model - which is available more widely now, but still only in the US - recently had its priced quartered from $200 to $50, we suspect Amazon is trying to get rid of old stock.

Will this give way to a new second-generation Echo Look? Or is Amazon drawing a line under its AI style assistant? The Echo Look — a camera with AI, essentially — always carried with it a whiff creepiness, given it was designed for the bedroom and would offer advice on the way its owner looks.

But perhaps in 2019 Amazon will convince consumers that this is a worthwhile addition for their smart home, and that AI-powered fashion retail will take off — with Alexa in the driving seat, naturally.

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