A smart speaker is a type of wireless speaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant that offers interactive actions and hands-free activation with the help of one "hot word" (or several "hot words"). Some smart speakers can also act as a smart device that utilizes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other wireless protocol standards to extend usage beyond audio playback, such as to control home automation devices. This can include, but is not be limited to, features such as compatibility across a number of services and platforms, peer-to-peer connection through mesh networking, virtual assistants, and others. Each can have its own designated interface and features in-house, usually launched or controlled via application or home automation software. Some smart speakers also include a screen to show the user a visual response.
As of winter 2017, it is estimated by NPR and Edison Research that 39 million Americans (16% of the population over 18) own a smart speaker.A smart speaker with a touchscreen is known as a smart display. While similar in form factor to tablet computers, smart displays differ in their emphasis on a hands-free user interface and virtual assistant features.
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