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By Alice Hodgson, Insight Manager
If only there was a way we could quickly find out what the weather looks like outside without getting out of bed, or what the next step is in a recipe when we’ve got our hands covered in flour or even wanting to change the song you’re listening to without lifting a finger…well meet modern technology’s answer to these problems…the voice search smart speaker.
Globally, the adoption of voice-powered smart speakers is taking off. A report by Juniper Research says that smart devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos One will be installed in a majority (55%) of US households by the year 2022. By that time, over 70m households will have at least one of these smart speakers in their home, and the total number of installed devices will top 175m. Crazy right?! We don’t even have to move from our sofas anymore! Gartner also predicts that by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be carried out without a screen and this means voice will begin its quest to take over from the keyboard.
Technology companies and retailers have certainly taken notice, and are moving further in directions that take advantage of the growing rise of voice search. One example is the recent partnership with Amazon Alexa and Ocado. The two giants partnered in a deal that allows customers to “voice shop”, integrating voice search and shopping online in a way that’s never been done before. Say goodbye to going to the crowded supermarket filled with angry shoppers on a Sunday evening!
This shows some of the potential future uses that we will see from voice search, with tech and retailers joining together to take advantage of two growing trends – online shopping and voice search through digital assistants and mobile devices.
However, it’s been argued that consumers have previously been reluctant to enter the voice search world, due to the concern that this little piece of tech is spying on us by listening in to every single conversation we’re having in the comfort of our own homes. In order for consumers to adopt voice recognition wholeheartedly, voice search technology needs to be quick enough, and efficient enough to make it easier than someone to type the question into Google and press search, as well as safe and private enough for them to know that their conversations won’t be listened in on.
My prediction for the coming years will be all about the rise in the connected home. It comes without saying that there may well be a surge in every household room being connected by a smart speaker – be it via the lightbulbs, the television, and even the doorbell. As comScore put it, “the smart speaker is the gateway device to enabling a smart home”. Watch this space folks!
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