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Is the voice overexcited? New study suggests weaker adoption than previously thought

 

 

Here is a popular quote from Bill Gates: "Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and under – what they can do in ten years ". technologies do not change things as quickly as expected, but will have a long-term impact. This is the case of voice and virtual assistants.

A decade ago, we used to say that "research is the universal interface". Slowly, the voice supplants it – the emphasis is slowly put on the word. Despite the hype around virtual and virtual assistants, to which I have contributed, the adoption does not seem to be proceeding as quickly as expected. A new report by SUMO Heavy underlines this idea.

About 30% of them are active users. A survey of just over 1,000 US adults found that almost half (46%) of respondents never use virtual assistants, with the emphasis on "never". Another group (16%) uses virtual assistants "rarely" (less than once a month). They are actually non-users. Together, these two groups account for 62% of the audience, while 29% (daily and weekly) make up the base of active users.

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Source: SUMO Heavy, n = 1,046 (4/19)

A previous consumer survey of Uberall had revealed that 52% of respondents never use voice search. This is consistent with the conclusions of SUMO Heavy.

The majority of uses are on smartphones. So it's not surprising that most of the voice usage is happening on smartphones, which distribute the largest number of devices with virtual assistants. It is interesting to note, in the graph below, that there is a lot of use on the desktop (15%), which can be Cortana on Windows PCs, as well as on embedded systems ( 11%).

Since virtual assistants are the defining feature of smart speakers, the 18% usage figure below is equivalent to owning a device. This would suggest a significantly lower intelligent speaker penetration rate (~ 46 million) in the United States than from other surveys .

Device of choice for a virtual assistant

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Source: SUMO Heavy, n = 1,046 (4/19)

The iPhones ahead of Android. The biggest surprise of the survey is perhaps the data of the operating system. Google has been promoting Google Assistant for smartphones, smart speakers and screens with national media campaigns. However, the results of SUMO Heavy reveal a much more frequent use of virtual assistants on iPhones.

Overall, the number of active users on iOS is higher than that of Android (44% vs. 28%) and there are many more "rarely" and "never". "Respondents on Android (72%). This can result from the demography of Android vs. iPhone and the fact that there are many low-end Android phones on the market. But this remains very surprising.

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Source: SUMO Heavy, n = 1,046 (4/19)

Finally, the investigation focused on the purchase of the voice with the help of virtual assistants. It was found that 17% had "viewed or purchased products with the help of a voice activated assistant". However, among weekly or daily users, 42% reported using a virtual assistant. This reinforces the notion that there is still very little "e-commerce".

[19459002Whyshouldwecare? This is just an inquiry; however, he argues that we temper our vocal search mania. Voice and virtual assistants as a kind of "universal user interface" are here to stay. These are important technologies that are changing and will continue to change the way people interact with devices. However, this is not happening as quickly as many had expected – half of the audience is non-users. The other half uses these technologies, but not uniformly.

If we accept the findings of SUMO Heavy, just under a third of the installed base is actively using voice and virtual assistants (daily or weekly). This does not mean that marketers must ignore or ignore the voice optimize content for voice discovery . There are still millions of requests on smartphones and smart speakers and this will continue to grow – over time.

About the Author

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Greg Sterling is a collaborative editor at Search Engine Land. He researches and writes on the links between digital commerce and offline commerce. He is also Vice President of Strategy and Knowledge for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at the address Google+ .