From the first computers, which quickly made their way to being a major force of communication, to the advent of smartphones, consumers have always been at the forefront of changes and arrivals of interfaces and popular technology. Computers were characterized by the creation of passwords and PINs to keep track of accounts, logins, and access to personal information. Surpassing this, came smartphones and the phenomenon of touchscreens – which soon allowed access to accounts by the use of a fingerprint.
Up next, is voice. Voice technology is becoming more and more ingrained into consumers daily lives with the help of voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices. Unlike computers and smartphones, voice is an interface that doesn’t have to be learned – it is based on what we already know: natural communication.
We went to consumers themselves to investigate further, to find an understanding of the current and future of voice technology in different aspects of consumers’ daily lives.
Some of the top activities consumers choose to participate in within their homes with the help of voice assistants included internet searches (33%), playing music (25%), and making small purchases, under $30 (9%). Within the next 18 months, these figures are expected to rise, and internet searches will be made with the help of voice by 56% of consumers. Playing music will increase to 50% and making small purchases will increase to 29%. In 5 years time, it is expected that these figures will continue to rise – consumers will utilize voice to make 72% of their internet searches. 68% of consumers will play music with voice control, and 47% will be making small purchases.
Alternatively, outside of the home, consumers have taken to voice control for similar activities. To highlight a few, 20% of consumers are currently using their voice assistants to play music outside of their home, 14% to use the navigation control, and 9% to check into a flight. In the next 18 months, these percentages are expected to rise to 46%, 37%, and 31% respectively. And in the next 5 years, these estimates will rise to 64%, 57%, and 53%.
Lastly, the workplace is also expected to see a rise in the use of voice assistants to create ease in tasks. Currently, 24% of consumers use voice to dial the phone, 18% use voice to dictate email, and 13% use voice in operating video/voice conferencing. In the next 18 months, 50% of office spaces will be utilizing voice to dial phone calls, 46% to dictate email, and 41% to video conference. Five years from now, these numbers will be even higher, with 67%, 67%, and 62%, respectively.
Overall, voice as a control has gained the most traction in the home, and will be limited to fairly simple tasks for now – but is quickly changing and adapting to human needs. Voice has gained the least amount of traction in the workplace for now, but it is expected to pick up. In the home, people see voice as simplifying their lives (41%), giving them more free time (30%), and helping them be more informed (48%).
To find out more about how consumers are welcoming the conversational economy, tune into our on-demand webinar here.