Voice Assistants (Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod) are all the rage and while they aren't really being used for shopping, it turns out to be useful for playing music, maintaining calendars, alarms, getting weather/traffic/news, keeping lists, controlling the home just to name a few.
So what could be the next leap in the voice assistant space? Assistants to me seem useful but they seem disconnected from the household, a definite tool like a fork or a TV but not part of the household. It seems to me that the next step is really to get a better UI, Amazon is clearly exploring this space (e.g. Amazon Spot, etc.). It seems some niche companies are ahead in this space and there is room in the US market.
Technology like Gatebox AI seems to be ahead of the pack though the release was overpriced and had a very limited release. The big players should take note as virtual assistants that are more personable should get more user interaction. Google's plan of building the Star Trek computer seems cool at first but it's really the equivalent to going to the library. Case in point, look at all the weird stuff you can (and do) ask Cortana, Siri, Alexa, Google Home and get a funny response. This seems to imply users are looking for something closer to a person than a robot.
Another great option in the Voice Assistant space would be to add mesh-WiFi capabilities. People are dropping voice assistant hockey pucks everywhere, why not provide WiFi coverage that rivals the standard in place router. This seems like a simple way to pack extra value into the home assistants.