From Crestron to Control4, Amazon’s Alexa can control just about any professional home automation platform you can think of, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. In fact, Amazon has now confirmed that there are more than 60,000 smart home devices on the market that can be controlled using the Alexa voice assistant; that’s triple the number that it supported back in September 2018.
While support for 60,000 smart home devices certainly sounds impressive, it’s largely thanks to the number of Chinese manufacturers pumping out generic switches, light bulbs and outlets that support the Alexa voice assistant. It only takes a five-minute search of the Amazon web store, Alibaba or eBay to see the number of unknown brands offering smart home products that can be controlled through Alexa. This is largely due to the fact that it’s now rather easy to buy white labelled smart home products and simply slap your brand name on it, as well as support for Alexa.
Amazon may be busy touting its numbers, and coincidentally it chose to do it on the day of Google’s big developer conference, but it won’t be the only company benefitting from the flood of white label products. In fact, many of those same products boast support for the Google Assistant, and it’s likely we’ll hear similar growth numbers from Google later today.
Despite the numbers being somewhat inflated, it doesn’t mean Amazon and Google haven’t deeply embedded themselves into the smart home market. It’s now next to impossible to launch a smart home product without somehow linking it into either company’s ecosystem, as proven by the proliferation of smart fridges with voice assistants, and even an Alexa-enabled Wi-Fi router. With the two firms still seeing robust growth in the sector, it’s unlikely that we’ll see their grip on the smart home market slip anytime soon.