1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Voice assistant adoption rates are lower than previously thought

By Shawn Knight · 33 replies
Jun 17, 2019
Post New Reply
  1. It’s been nearly a decade since Apple released Siri, a voice and virtual assistant that promised to revolutionize our lives through the magic of speech recognition, artificial intelligence and a whole host of other supporting technologies.

    Although the start could have been smoother, Apple planted a seed that would eventually lead to a market full of powerful voice and virtual assistants including Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Adoption has certainly picked up over the past few years but it may not be quite as far along as we are being led to believe.

    A recent SUMO Heavy survey of just over 1,000 US adults found that nearly half (46 percent) never use virtual assistants with only 19 percent saying they use one rarely. A full six percent of respondents said they use a voice assistant monthly while 13 percent use weekly and 16 percent do so on a daily basis.

    As you might expect, most virtual assistant interaction takes place on a smartphone (49 percent). Smart speakers are the second most popular choice at 18 percent followed by desktops / laptops at 15 percent, in-car infotainment systems at 11 percent and wearables at seven percent.

    Lead image credit: Voice assistant soundwave illustration by Kolonko

    Permalink to story.

  2. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 894   +497

    Not only do I not use them, I go out of my way to disable them wherever I see the option. I don't like a gadget like a phone or tablet or smart TV having a microphone always listening.
  3. Bullwinkle M

    Bullwinkle M TS Booster Posts: 136   +71

    "Rarely" falls into a category of....
    Tried it, hated it, never used it again

    The never used category should be....
    Never used or will never use again!

    This would more accurately describe the "above 50%" who don't want it
    Ludak021 and Godel like this.
  4. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 505   +334

    I’m somewhat surprised that Android voice usage is lower. Google Assistant is light years ahead of Siri in just about every way - it actually works, and doesn’t just google everything like Siri. I miss my Android, and that is a big reason why.
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,124   +1,617

    I have to laugh at the conspiracy theorists about these devices "always listening in" to your conversations. Alexa has a 7 second loop to listen only for the wake word and that's it. Can you imagine the amount of storage required if every device was listening (and recording) every word 24/7?

    And from my perspective, I could care less if anyone was listening anyway. I would pity the poor fool stuck listening to my gaming rants while playing, asking the gf what's for dinner, hours of silence while reading a book, or hours of TV background noise. And I'm only one of tens of millions who live that kind of a lifestyle.

    This will pick up, guaranteed. They're like when microwave ovens first came out. Once you start using them, it's a "what did we do before these came out" deal.
    Shadowboxer, PEnnn and ghostf1re like this.
  6. kevbev89

    kevbev89 TS Maniac Posts: 187   +168

    Who in the world made those graphics... it is such shoddy work. And why would you pick the iOS and Android colors to be so similar??
    CloudCatcher and MilwaukeeMike like this.
  7. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,993   +2,290

    Personally, I do not see the need for a voice assistant.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +808

    Voice assistants still suck pretty bad relative to how we envision/want them to be. Until they get complex enough to be at "Star Trek" level of verbal interaction with a computer; few people will use them. Right now their very limited in contextual recognition and follow up requests. I've tried both Apple and Google version's, and while the actual speech recognition is good; the command and question system is not good. I really only use Siri for basic stuff, like sending a text message, or calling a specific person or number, setting an alarm or timer. Beyond that, it doesn't even have the capability to understand and handle my requests.

    It doesn't surprise me for one second though that Siri is used more than Google's assistant; you can use Siri while your device is locked (if allowed in settings) and with the Google assistant, you cannot. Not being able to use the assistant while your phone is locked almost entirely defeats the purpose of it. Why would you unlock your phone just to talk to it to say; set an alarm? By the time you've made the effort to get to your phone and unlock it you might as well just go set it manually. Maybe it is just me, but nearly all of my voice commands to my phone are when I don't have it in my hands.
  9. Tuxie

    Tuxie TS Rookie Posts: 19   +6

    I don't want to speak to my gadgets like a crazy person.
    Ludak021, failquail and toooooot like this.
  10. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,240   +901

    It's not as fast as typing.

    Only rarely do I ask SIRI a question like:

    #1 What's the population of (insert country or state here).

    #2 Convert $50 to (insert foreign currency here).

    #3 Make an appointment for (insert info here).
  11. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 854   +301

    It's because they suck at what they do.

    "Me: Play music"

    "Phone: Okay, calling Courtney."

    "Me: PLAY MUSIC."

    "Phone: I'm sorry, I didn't get that."
  12. Dav dee cully

    Dav dee cully TS Rookie

    Smart devices namely CCTV are driving the complete take up among the older generations Plus 45 year olds in my company providing tech services etc. they go from no devices to over 6 smart devices in a few months. it a a sector is exploding now rapidly. Great revenue stream as bolt on services merge with proper secure solutions and apps. The key word is the APP. Stay tuned. Security Provider UK.
  13. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Evangelist Posts: 460   +268

    I use Google assistant while my phone is locked everyday.
    mbrowne5061 and Hexic like this.
  14. Axiarus

    Axiarus TS Evangelist Posts: 460   +268

    Basically this. I took the leap and got a Google Home, smart lights and plugs. I love it. I also use my Google Assistant daily.
  15. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,807   +407

    The only real use I put into voice command while I doing dishes "Google play music in spotify"

    and done

    Sometimes "google next song"

    and maybe once in awhile "Google volume 60%"

    lmao otherwise, I dont want to be seen talking TO my phone.
  16. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Guru Posts: 414   +265

    I actually use Siri multiple times a day and it's only to set timers for cooking. Other than that, I never use it. It's definitely nice to be able to hands free set a timer when you're in the middle of cooking things. They have their place, but mostly they're garbage right now.
  17. lexster

    lexster TS Maniac Posts: 466   +233

    Right there with you. Some of us go out of our way to not just disable but to fully remove such.
    Ludak021 likes this.
  18. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Booster Posts: 137   +45

    I've used both, no way is Google "light years ahead". For what I do, Siri is actually better at doing it. The last comprehensive test of the assistants, put Google slightly ahead, mostly for shopping stuff (go figure), Siri a close second and amazon way back. As I don't and won't use a voice assistant for shopping, that jumps Siri to the lead for me.

    Each to their own I guess
  19. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Booster Posts: 137   +45

    Definitely my experience with Google home. I would add, "I can't find anything labelled "Children of the Corn syrup" (yah actually). It is un to ask Google questions and laugh at the crappy answers.
  20. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Booster Posts: 137   +45

    Aren't you worried about your microwave taking pictures of you? if you don't get I, you haven't been paying attention)
  21. PEnnn

    PEnnn TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +83

    There is way more to the voice assistants' actions than most people are aware of. There is an app called Shortcuts (IOS, not sure about Android) ) that executes a series of commands / functions (like executing macros in Excel, for example). IOS 13 coming later this year will have exponentially more shortcuts already built in it and integrated with Siri.

    But for now, for example and using the Shortcuts app, you can still do neat stuff. If you often text a partner to say you're on your way home, Siri Shortcuts could send them a text. However, you can also have it figure out where you are now, check the traffic conditions, and automatically send that text message with a precise ETA.

    The one I use often ("Hey Siri, take me home") has Siri firing up the Maps app and showing directions (it can also send a text to my wife with my ETA, my location and then start my music play list).

    Now, that's useful.
  22. MarkHughes

    MarkHughes TS Addict Posts: 182   +94

    I used mine on windows and android a few times to tell jokes, That gets boring quick, Then very rarely to set a timer.

    I do however have a valid use case for calling people using voice assist, I have menieres disease and sometimes during an attack I might need to call somebody, Since there is no way to see or navigate a screen during an attack then voice is all I have. I haven't needed it yet but I leave it on just in case.

    I can think of a few other use cases but not ones I need personally. Must be a boon for the blind/partially sighted, And maybe people who have limited limb function.
    PEnnn likes this.
  23. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Maniac Posts: 363   +246

    Alternately, "Rarely" could be read as, "I only talk to Siri when I want to hear a funny response that I've heard about on social media" (I.e. "Siri, rap for me").
  24. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 505   +334

    I don’t use Siri or Google Assistant for shopping. GA’s dictation is infinitely better, and it will pull data from websites and answer your question directly. I have both Siri and GA, and use them both daily. As a daily tester, GA is simply superior in recognizing what you’re saying, and grabbing the info you request.

    I’m not sure what you may do with Siri, but it’s really a no-contest right now overall, until Apple gets some real development going again. I’m not an Android fanboy by any means, but it’s very obvious who’s better.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +808

    What phone do you have? I haven't met a single Android user who was able to get that to work... and ALL of my tech friends have Android phones.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...