The Amazon Echo. Google Home. The Apple HomePod. These are the names of many intelligent voice assistants that are sparking a tech revolution inside your own home. Just a few years ago, if you had told someone we were to have our own AI-powered digital assistants helping us through our day-to-day á la The Jetsons, no one would have believed you. Yet, today, these robo-assistants have become almost ubiquitous, coming in the form of smart speakers.
While many of these smart voice assistants find their origin in smartphones, such as with Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, they truly broke into the mainstream when they latched onto the smart speakers we are now installing inside our homes. This transition to home speakers began with the Amazon Echo, which was Amazon’s most high-profile product launch since the Kindle. Amazon’s own voice assistant, Alexa, became the poster boy (or girl) for voice assistants everywhere after it was bundled with the Echo. Unbeknownst rivals like Apple and co. had to ramp up development of their voice tech lest they be left behind.
Ever since Amazon began rolling out its Amazon Echo in the US around 2014-2015, the technology swiftly picked up steam and soon, many copycats and prospective innovators hit the market. Today, there are dozens of voice assistant devices looking for a spot inside your living room. Voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant that had made a home of your phone had now made the jump to a different kind of home – your own. Today, customers seem to be accommodating of these new guests.
In the second quarter of the year, the European smart home market reached 22 million units, growing 17.8% from the second quarter last year, according to data from International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Smart Home Device Tracker.
The European smart home market is expected to grow from 107.8 million units in 2019 to 185.5 million units in 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5%, according to IDC. Video entertainment and smart speakers will be responsible for 65% of shipments in 2023.
Where will the next voice assistant revolution take place?
Perhaps surprisingly, the next voice assistant revolution will take place in our homes as well. This time, our shiny Smart TVs will play host to Siri, Alexa and their ilk.
UK-based Juniper Research revealed earlier this year that it estimates there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use by 2023, up from the 2.5 billion assistants in use at the end of 2018, as per reporting by Tech Crunch.
Juniper, however, predicts that the fastest-growing category for voice over the next several years will not be smart speakers. It will be smart TVs.
“The firm expects the smart TV voice assistant category to grow by 121.3% (CAGR) over the next five years, while smart speakers will grow by 41.3%. Wearables will also play a significant role, with 40.2%, the study found.
Be it on smart speakers, TVs or your phones, voice tech is here to stay. US data analytics firm SEMrush even told AMEinfo that voice search, whose crux is voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, will be a major trend in the next few years.