No Screen? No Problem. Voice Web Growth Will Outpace That of the Smart Phone

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In 2007, the first iPhone was introduced. In 2015, more than 30% of web browsing traffic is mobile. But a new report from Gartner signals that “voice-first” browsing will grow even faster:

“By 2020, 30 percent of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen. New audio-centric technologies, such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo, are making access to dialogue-based information ubiquitous and spawning new platforms based on “voice-first” interactions. By eliminating the need to use ones’ hands and eyes for browsing, vocal interactions extend the utility of web sessions to contexts such as driving, cooking, walking, socializing, exercising and operating machinery. As a result, the share of waking hours devoid of instant access to online resources will approach zero.”

It took eight years for mobile device browsing to reach 30%. For “voice-first” devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, it will take closer to five. This is tremendous growth and good news for Amazon and Google. But other tech companies are listening. Samsung acquired Viv, an artificial intelligence software startup earlier this month. And Chinese tech giant Baidu recently increased its investment in artificial intelligence research. Amazon, Apple and Google have a good head start, but the race to dominate the voice web is just beginning.