Merging two different devices into a single product is not usually a good idea. If something goes wrong with one — the entire item is useless. That’s something Netgear has avoided with the Orbi Voice, an Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speaker that doubles as a satellite in Netgear’s Orbi Wi-Fi mesh system.
With Orbi Voice, neither the smart speaker nor the Wi-Fi mesh satellite is primarily mechanical — so there is less of a chance one will fail and taking the other with it. At the same time, you’re replacing two boring white boxes with one item.
I have been writing about consumer electronics for four decades, including news, reviews, analysis and history for a wide variety of consumer, niche and trade outlets. For the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), I annually update the industry's history and write the official biographies of the CTA Hall of Fame inductees. Aside from writing about consumer technology for a variety of consumer, tech and trade publications, I write a blog and do market research for Digital Technology Consulting. In the non-tech world, I have written "Bums No More: The Championship Season of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers" and "The Rules of Neighborhood Poker According to Hoyle." Check out my work at www.stewartwolpin.com.