Voice commands are the future of tech, are you ready?
BRACE yourself for a brave new world of otherwise normal people barking orders into their phones, watches and spectacles as they walk down the street.
The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas gave a good indication of how some of us might be living in the near future.
Some 20,000 new products went on display to the delight of more than 150,000 conference visitors.
A centrepiece of the event is the Samsung Smart Home, a vision of domestic bliss in which household appliances respond to the voice of the homeowner with a level of obedience unmatched by even the most loyal of family pets.
"Going out!" the forgetful resident can yelp into a Samsung smartphone or Galaxy Gear smartwatch on departing through the front door - and the home lighting and all selected appliances will miraculously switch themselves off.
"Goodnight!" the lazy geek might purr at the remote control, turning the television off without having to press the off switch. According to Samsung, that same instruction will ensure that "lights are dimmed and gradually turned off" to ensure a minimal workload on the way to bed.
A "home view" feature allows homeowners to view the inside of their properties remotely by using cameras built in to Samsung appliances, such as a television or fridge.
A Smart Home app would be usable across Samsung's personal devices (such as smartwatches, smartphones and tablets) and would use remote computer servers to interact with the company's wide range of internet-connected household appliances, including fridges, washing machines, televisions, vacuum cleaners and air-conditioning systems.
But the big buzz at this year's conference was around wearable technology, such as bracelets that monitor your health and measure your fitness. Analysts expect 1.5 million wearable devices to be sold in 2014.
One of the most expensive among them, at $1500 a pop, is Google Glass which features a video camera in its lightweight frame.
Again, users are encouraged to talk to the device. You may become accustomed to passers-by instructing their eyewear with the order: "OK Glass …Take a picture!"
LG offered one of the most intriguing gadgets at CES: the Heart Rate Earphones contain sensors to measure blood flow signals from the inner part of the ear to capture data relating to heart rate and oxygen consumption.
But perhaps the most quirky of all the intelligent household devices on show must be the world's first smart toothbrush. Here is a gadget that collects sufficient data to enable you to have dental hygiene competitions with other members of your household, a possible incentive to children.
The Kolibree Toothbrush connects to an app on your smartphone to give details on your brushing time as well as measuring the efficiency and thoroughness of your brushing technique, scoring between one and five stars. The app includes a graph in which members of the family can compare the length of their brushing sessions and their ability to remove plaque.