Reports of the death of accents have been greatly exaggerated.
There are several reasons people might find smart devices equipped with an always-on microphone both attractive and unsettling.
Apple's closed system may be its undoing in the smart home market.
Once you have the ability to speak to a digital assistant from any room in the house, the obvious next step is to make the house able to listen.
This will be the year when the Internet of Things becomes intelligent -- and useful.