Smart speakers are used by nearly 20% of U.S. adults and may be as high as 10% worldwide in 2017 according the studies by Voicebot and PwC studies. In addition, over 400 million consumers have access to Google Assistant through Android smartphones, a similar amount can access Microsoft Cortana on PCs and another 500 million can use Siri through Apple’s iOS devices. The rapid consumer adoption rate for smart speakers has taken analysts by surprise and that exposure is flowing into more voice assistant usage on smartphones, PCs and through household appliances. It is clear that voice assistants are heading toward both ubiquitous access and usage.

What is Driving The Shift to Voice?

There are many factors diving voice technology adoption. It is much faster than typing. It enables hands free eyes free access to information and entertainment. The technology has become much more accurate. Voice on smartphones introduced consumers to a few utilitarian tasks where voice enhanced convenience. Smart speakers have layered greater access to a broad set of capabilities useful in the home, at the office and on-the-go.

Voice search was the canary that first indicated that consumers were likely to use voice more frequently. Voice search quickly rose to 20% of all mobile search and comScore now predicts 50% of all search will soon be spoken instead of typed. Gartner even predicts that 30% of all web page interactions will be initiated by voice. The introduction of Amazon Echo and then Google Home showed us all that voice interaction wouldn’t be limited to mobile. It is destined to be everywhere and in many instances become our primary user interface for technology. If you want to know why this is happening, the answer is simple. Just as point-and-click turned out to be a more powerful user interface for PCs and touch for mobile, voice is showing its utility for a wide variety of use cases.

What it Means and Voicebot’s Purpose

What does this all mean? We have entered the voice era. The visual web we have known since the early 1990’s is now complemented by the emerging voice web. People point back to the Mosaic web browser in 1993 and the Apple iPhone’s touch interface in 2007 as introducing tectonic shifts in computing. What changed was both the human-computer interface and the way humans related to and used computing. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant will be viewed in much the same way in the years to come. Entire industries grew up around desktop and mobile computing in the earlier eras. We will now see a new industry emerge centered on voice interaction and its primary enabling technology, artificial intelligence.

That brings us to Voicebot. Our goal is to gather in one place the most important news, commentary, research and analysis of voice technology. While other publications will cover AI generally, chatbots or related technologies, our focus will be on the emerging voice segment. Voice is the user interface change that will drive a new industry and a new way for people to interact with and control computing resources. We publish both original content and provide links to relevant third party content at Voicebot.ai, distribute a weekly email newsletter and host the weekly Voicebot Podcast. We also produce original research. and industry analysis for general publication and for private consumption. The editorial decisions are solely the responsibility of the Voicebot team and do not necessarily reflect those of our partners, customers or other organizations.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest a story for us to cover, please email editorial @voicebot.ai. Also, go ahead and sign up for our newsletter to the right and get a front row seat to the fast-changing world of the voice web. Finally, you can see a Voicebot presentation at the Smart Voice Summit in Paris in February 2018 that offers a crash course on what the data says today about voice assistant adoption and how brands are responding. Just click the image below.