Do you really need to get yourself a smart display?

After all that our smartphone does, is buying a smart display really necessary? The Bridge Chronicle walks you through the pros & cons of one.
A smart display has a host of functions to make your life convenient.
A smart display has a host of functions to make your life convenient. The Bridge Chronicle

Smart displays — as if we didn't have enough screens on our desk already! Tech giants, at first, eased you into the idea of a laptop after a desktop. Then, they gradually pushed the 'smartphone' into our lives. After that, the Kindle, Tablets and smartwatches followed suit. And just when you think technology can't get ahead of itself, you learn about the smart display. Don't let out that exasperated sigh yet, because we might have to deal with several more innovations in the future — which is why taking a break from so much screen exposure is probably a good idea. But that aside, what makes the 'smart' display smart? And do you actually need to get one for yourself? Here's what we think:

Firstly, what is a smart display?

Think of this device as a speaker with a screen. Google, Amazon and Facebook have come up with several innovations, including the Google Home Hub, the Amazon Echo Show and the Facebook Portal. Smart displays often market themselves as the 'next generation' of speakers. So, yes, if you're hoping to get the recipe for your favourite chocolate cake, you can solely ask Alexa to search for it. But unlike a regular Amazon Echo, this device will make sure to show you a video along with the recipe. Smart displays, like any other smart home device, will respond to your voice command. This means a 'Hey Google', 'Hey Siri' or 'Alexa' will draw the attention of the voice assistant to your demands.

Apart from searching for your needs, smart displays have an additional element of touch to their functions. So, it will not only let you stream your favourite YouTube video, but it will also allow you to view pictures and watch movies. It will give you everything beginning from a detailed weather forecast to recent reviews of a new restaurant (and booking a seat, if required!). Think of your smart display like television that can perform complex tasks. Currently, we're only seeing a handful of tech companies introduce their line of smart displays. This includes Lenovo, Amazon Echo, Google Hub and Facebook portal. Apple is yet to introduce a smart speaker with a display. And while competitors are offering second generations of these devices, it will be a while before Apple introduces this for its users.

How much should a smart display ideally cost you?

Echo Show can play your favourite songs and help you shop online.
Echo Show can play your favourite songs and help you shop online.Amazon

A smart display will cost you anywhere between INR 6,000 to INR 15,000. The average screen size of this device ranges from seven to ten inches. Although 'smart', it will not replace your television, and it isn't especially handy if you want to surf the web. Instead, they offer you a minimalistic interface that is seen from across the room. So, a smart display will pick up your query and use the screen to answer it better.

What can your smart display do?

If you're wondering how a smart display would simplify your life with its features, we have it covered for you in this list below:

Google Nest Hub can double as a baby monitor.
Google Nest Hub can double as a baby monitor.Google

- Be your PA: Your smart device can be your personal assistant and do everything, beginning from searching the web for a particular query to booking a restaurant for the evening. It can remember meetings along with necessary dates and inform you if you wish to be reminded. It can organise grocery lists and give you information with a single touch.

- Facilitate video calls: Gone are the days where video calls were a hassle! A smart display can help you make quick video calls by simply asking the assistant to do so. In fact, Echo Show also includes face-tracking technology. This enables the camera to follow you around the room during video calls!

- Keep your home safe: You can pair your smart display with a smart lock, smart bulbs, thermostat and security systems to make sure everything is under your control. You can keep an eye out at your main door or backyard with these features at hand. It can also act as a baby monitor, so users can smart display the camera's live feed remotely from anywhere.

- Shop effortlessly: Shopping just got a whole lot easier! Your smart display can show you a host of products, and you just have to ask for them. All you have to do is say, "Hey Alexa, show me outdoor furniture", and that's all it takes for you to see what's on offer. Of course, payment and processing are still a tad bit uncomfortable. Other than that, you're all set to do some serious window shopping!

- Be a digital photo frame: Remember when digital photo frames were a thing? And now, they seem almost redundant to purchase. But you can still display your photos and happy memories like a photo frame would. Smart displays boast fluid resolution and vibrant shades. So, you can go ahead and adorn your home with a montage of your memories!

Apart from these features, smart displays are the key to controlling smart home devices. It eventually becomes a one-stop shop for all the gadgets in your house. So, whether or not you have space for another screen on your table, it goes without saying that a smart display makes a crucial addition to your residence. However, a lot of our needs arise after co-dependence. And if you're doing just fine without one, you probably shouldn't put yourself in a position to get used to it! That said, we're constantly amazed at the advancing technology and are excited to be looking at an automated future. A smart display will enhance and upgrade your home, and if you've had a long day, it will make sure you unwind with a quick jam session on Spotify or a video call with your loved ones. We don't know about you, but we're sold!

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