I distinctly remember a moment in my expansive two-year career with Technology Integrator and Dealerscope that specifically wondered why a company might create a smart speaker when companies such as Amazon and Google are already building their own. The speaker in question was irrelevant to the story but the broad stroke really didn't have a clear answer to me.
However, the maturity of the market has seemed to begin scratching the surface of where a smart speaker should exist and the purpose it brings to a smart home. And we got a taste of that answer from home control giant Sonos and beloved consumer electronic champion iHome at a CE Week panel billed as "How Smart Speakers are striving to be the next Great Platform."
The panel had vastly different takes on what that question means but the answers both seemed to lead back to one bigger point - smart speakers are more than just a conduit for music. That being said, that is seemingly the easiest way to reprogram the consumer to start using voice as a tool in the home.