Voice-activated personal assistant platforms such as Amazon's Alexa continue to grow in popularity, making lives easier in all sorts of ways. As such gadgets become more widespread, there is a growing need for what makes them viable in the first place — speech analytics.
Here is a quick look at the growth of voice-activated gadgets and how advancements in speech analytics will only help spur that growth going forward.
Voice Assistants on the Rise
This year, more than 60 million people in the U.S. will use voice-activated virtual assistants such as Siri or Alexa at least once a month, according to research from eMarketer.
Perhaps not surprisingly, these types of gadgets are most popular among Millennials — those born between 1981 and 2000 — with 29.9 million in that group expected to use them at least once a month.
By 2019, eMarketer expects 39.3 million Millennials will use voice-activated assistants at least once a month, up 31 percent from this year. At the same time, usage among Gen Xers will grow just over 10 percent, while Baby Boomer usage will grow just over 4 percent.
Amazon Leads the Way
As it stands, Amazon's Echo voice-enabled speaker is the dominant player in the market. When it comes to these kinds of devices, Amazon Echo claims just over 70 percent of the U.S. market, according to eMarketer.
Google Home has nearly 24 percent market share, while all other voice-powered speakers combined for less than 6 percent.
Amazon's share is likely to fall in the coming years thanks to new products from companies including Apple and Microsoft, but the company is expected to continue to dominate the sector for the foreseeable future.
Why Speech Analytics Matters
It may sound obvious, but one of the most important factors when it comes to voice-enabled devices is how well they recognize your voice and what you're saying. The more accurate a device, the more popular it is likely to be among consumers.
For iPhone owners who use Siri, you know how frustratingly fickle it can be at times when it just doesn't seem to understand what you're saying.
That said, voice-activated software can be very accurate. In fact, speech analytics systems can be as much as 90 to 97 percent accurate, depending on the systems employed. The companies that can harness this kind of accuracy and implement them into home assistant platforms stand to be industry leaders for years to come.
Why People Use Home Assistants
For the time being, most consumers who use voice assistants do so for relatively basic tasks. According to a consumer survey from VoiceLabs, 46.7 percent of people who use Amazon Echo or Google Home like their device because it can easily play music and books.
Another 29 percent said they like them because they can connect to their smart home devices, while 29 percent also said they like them for games and entertainment.
As speech analytics evolve and become more sophisticated, it is likely that the tasks for which consumers use voice-activated platforms will grow well beyond simply playing your favorite song or reading you a book.
Big Business Will Continue
Even when you look at just Amazon, you begin to realize how big the voice-enabled device market could be in the near future. RBC Capital Markets recently projected that Amazon's Alexa devices could generate some $5 billion in revenue in 2020.
Further, that $5 billion only accounts for sales of the devices themselves. RBC says Amazon could generate another $5 billion in retail shopping sales from people ordering items via Alexa devices.
In the end, voice-enabled devices are poised for huge growth, both in terms of the number of users as well as revenue generated. With that being the case, the importance of effective and accurate speech analytics will continue to grow as well.
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