Day one at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the focus was on voice-activated digital assistants. Numbers were front and centre as Amazon announced that it had sold 100 million digital assistants. Along with this, more than 150 products have Alexa built-in, more than 28,000 smart home devices currently work with Alexa from more than 4,500 different manufacturers and Alexa has over 70,000 skills. Google has not yet revealed its numbers.
However, in a separate survey, 21% of US households already have at least one digital assistant with the average being more than two per home. This is a staggeringly fast take up, faster than mobile phones for example, and can be explained by the fact that these devices do not have one killer app but reduce friction across a range of activities. In one survey of US adults, the key activities that householders used their digital assistants for were as follows:
Ask a question - 63%
Check the weather - 58%
Listen to music/ radio/ podcasts – 50%
Set a timer or alarm – 45%
Call someone – 32%
The alternative to using your digital assistant for any of the above is a combination of using your PC/iPad/ mobile, radio, TV, clock or phone. In other words, the digital assistant is reducing the time spent on a range of other devices. Moreover, because it is voice-activated, these activities are becoming more communal rather than solitary.
It was interesting to note that controlling power and/or other devices in the home was not one of the main activities in the above survey despite the large amount of devices already in the Alexa eco-system. This is good news for Quantify because our products provides seamless integration with Alexa skills to control multiple devices in the home. It seems as though the market has only just begun!
Brian Linver on Twitter: @blinver - January 8, 2019