The summary

“Google Home is better than Amazon Alexa but not available in the UK until 2017 so right now everyone is buying Amazon Alexa” would this be a fair summary of the current situation?  Not sure but it certainly sounded like it at the #SmartHomeDinner in London on the 29th November 2016 at the Radisson Edwardian, Hampshire on Leicester Square.

We kicked off with a demonstration of the Tesla Model X which was very interesting – it swept through the crowds silently and pulled up in front of the Radisson as if running on stealth mode.


It’s wing doors lifted and it’s lights remained on through the demonstration as we all peered in to see what all the fuss was about.  It is certainly as good looking on the inside as it is on the outside and quickly attracted a passing crowd.  People just like what Tesla are doing – it appeals to their sense of adventure and you can see it in their eyes when they first catch sight of the car.

Amazon Alexa and Google Home

Once we were back in from the cold it was back to business with Jess Williams from Opearlo demonstrating Google Home and Amazon Alexa – unfortunately, Safaraz Ali and Brian Marcel were unable to join us but that still left 15 of us around the table including Rob Newell from Nimlock, Mike Mindel from Wordtracker, Peter Kolka from Exlabs, Daryl Hine from Abundant Solutions, Brant McNaughton from Eccemedia, Robert Elding from Usio, Tim Fuell, Mark Wing, David Pitcher and finally Craig Vallis, so it was indeed a full house.

Conversational Memory

What is super interesting with Google Home is its ability to continue a conversation – this extraordinary feature allows us as humans to feel less like a robot and more like a human being.  For example, a conversations with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home go as follows:

Amazon Alexa

Duncan “Alexa – can you tell me about flights from Manchester to Berlin?”

Alexa “I have found that there are 3 flights leaving from Manchester to Berlin”

Duncan “Can you give me details on those flights?”

Alexa “What flights would you like details on?”

Google Home

Duncan “Hey Google – can you tell me about flights from Manchester to Berlin?”

Google “I have found that there are 3 flights leaving from Manchester to Berlin”

Duncan “Can you give me details on those flights?”

Google “Sure, the next flight leaves at 4pm and costs around £129?”


Duncan “Hey Siri – can you tell me about flights from Manchester to Berlin?”

Siri “I can not find any information on Thomas the tank engine right now”



As you can read in the above illustration, Google Home has the ability to remember the conversation (1 step back) whereas Amazon Alexa can’t.  Unfortunately, Siri remains hopeless for now in my opinion.

We did wonder if Google Home had the ability to remember back more than 1 step but I assume this could become pretty complicated as the number of steps back in a conversation you go could rapidly start draining processing power at Google HQ but it would be pretty neat.

As a result of this Google Home certainly sounded more intelligent so our conversation went on to the definition of intelligence and whether or not Google Home really was intelligent or simply knowledgeable.

Business Cases

As this is our second event focusing on voice we had more time to lift the hood and dig in to the business use cases of voice technology – Rob Newell pointed out how Nimlock could use voice on the exhibitions stands they build to help visitors with various different tasks from simply responding to information about a particular product on display or on a larger scale dotted around exhibition halls helping attendees find stands and perhaps even locate people.

Website Adoption

It’s obvious that voice could become a big part of web design and Robert Elding from Usio discussed briefly how websites could allow visitors to interact with websites using voice commands – an example of this might be for a simple search – i.e. “Show me hotels available in London on the 14th December”.

So, in conclusion…

voice is certainly going to be an exciting interface – it is faster than typing in to a keyboard and more natural – in addition there is no mouse/keyboard tether challenge, they just need a microphone.  Google Home will likely win the hearts of its users but Alexa will remain important because it had first to market advantage.

The SmartHomeDinner is the last Tuesday of each month and takes place in London, for further information register on our homepage and we will let you know by email about future events as and when they are scheduled.

Whilst you do not have to be a member of Digital Entrepreneur to attend the SmartHomeDinner, IoTDinner or VR Dinner members do get first refusal on all tickets and as we are typically limited to 12 tickets they do sell out.  If you would like further information about joining Digital Entrepreneur then click on the following link.