Voice Still Needs to Overcome Consumer Uncertainty

Interest in the use of digital assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, is red hot right now, but the long-term stickiness of the technology will depend on companies getting a deeper understanding of consumer behavior in the home, Strategy Analytics cautioned recently.

While the research firm notes that such voice-based technologies are all the rage, it warns that there are barriers, including privacy concerns, to the adoption of digital voice assistants in the intelligent home. The firm also cautions that industry players, including service providers and device manufacturers, must improve their insights into the drivers of consumer behavior to come up with winning product and marketing strategies.

"There is no doubt that cloud-based voice-first technologies have created huge industry buzz," said David Watkins, director of the Intelligent Home Group at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. "However, we must remember that the market is very much in its infancy and the potential of digital assistants in the home is still largely unrealized. Rapid technology advancements in recent years have resulted in the development of highly accurate voice interfaces, and companies must now focus on compelling use cases for voice rather than trying to shoehorn the technology into every situation."

"Although we expect voice interactions with products and services in the home to increase over time, voice will complement rather than completely replace existing interaction methods," added Joe Branca, senior analyst in Strategy Analytics' Intelligent Home Group. "Voice may be suitable for simple, single-purpose commands, such as controlling lights, changing music or creating reminders, but other more complex tasks may require additional sensory stimulus, such as visual feedback. Companies will need to think hard about how the user experience can translate to this new interaction medium."

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