More people use voice control via smartphone than smart speakers: report

More people use voice control via smartphone than smart speakers: report
Smart speaker adoption is moving fast. In just four years, smart speakers have gained an installed user base of nearly 1 in 4 American adults. That number is sure to rise and approach 30% market penetration before the year is out, according to Voicebot Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report 2018.
 
While smart speakers have been a catalyst for voice adoption, they are not the only game in town. There are far more people owning voice assistant-enabled smartphones than smart speakers. Voice assistant has also found its way into cars, watches, headphones, televisions, etc.
 
Voicebot’s report shows that 90.1 million people use voice control via smartphone on a monthly basis, compared with 45.7 million people who use smart speakers. People tend to activate the voice control function when they are driving, according to 62% of the population.
 
Voice control is relatively popular on smartphones. The survey shows 24% smartphone users access the voice control function on a daily basis, and 61% use it on a monthly basis.
 
While Alexa is the most popular voice assistant in the smart speaker space, it is not the case in the smartphone space. With a 44% popularity, Siri is considered the dominant smartphone voice assistant in the U.S., followed by Google Assistant (30%) and Amazon Alexa (17%).
 
The study shows that most people use the voice assistant on their phones to get information (traffic updates, driving direction or places to eat) or for utility purpose (call someone, text or email, set an alarm or set a timer)

Voice assistant in cars

 
Beyond smartphones and smart speakers, the car is the other key user environment for consumer voice assistant use today. Just about 50% of consumers said they have tried a voice assistant in the car. It was about equally split between using Bluetooth to connect to their smartphone voice assistant and using the voice solution that came pre-installed in the car.
 
Alexa is again lagging behind other voice assistants in the in-car environment. It does not have the loyal smartphone user base nor does it have a formal position in the dashboard like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

“Amazon is working to get that dashboard positioning, but likely won’t see a significant installed base for years,” Voicebot says. That is part of the motivation behind Echo Auto which is a way to place a small microphone array on the dashboard that can pick up a driver’s utterance better than the smartphone based Alexa app can in a noisy environment like a car. It is a workaround to provide Alexa access until integration with car infotainment systems is widespread.
 
Voice assistant use in the car is higher than smartphone-based usage. Up to 43% reports daily usage while 67% reports monthly usage.

Voice assistant in other appliances

 
The smartphone, smart speaker and the car may be the big three access points for voice assistants, but a myriad of other devices are eager to get into the act. The leading players right now are desktop and laptop computers. Both Microsoft and Apple have built Cortana and Siri respectively into their latest operating systems.
 
Next up are smart televisions that enable voice access to turn on or off the devices as well as navigate to channels and media without having to manually select a destination with a remote control.
 
The third position is held by smart watches. Small screen size is a key driver of adoption. The limited screen real estate means button navigation can be challenging. Voice eliminates that barrier.

What consumers value

 
When choosing a voice assistant, more than half of consumers say how well it understands them is the number one factor in their decision. The speed of response is also an important factor, according to 36% of the surveyed. Just one-third of consumers are focused on the voice assistant features.
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