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Voice Technology Usage Among Consumers: Trends and Research

A little more than six years have past since Apple first introduced the world to Siri. Fast forward roughly a half decade later and Siri, along with other voice assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Google, have captured mainstream appeal.

Need evidence? Look no further than Amazon, which set sales records with smart speakers last holiday season. The online marketplace announced that the Echo Dot was the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category this past November and December.

As the prevalence of voice-command technology continues to rise, trends have emerged. Stone Temple sought to examine them in a survey of over 1,000 people on topics regarding how, when and why people use voice technology.

Below are some key takeaways from this year’s findings.

Public use of voice technology is growing.

The majority of those surveyed said they tend to use voice technology when they’re at home alone. However, in comparison to last year’s data, users appear to becoming more comfortable interacting with voice assistants in public.

Their survey included categories that explored voice usage in the following situations: parties, the gym, at a restaurant with acquaintances, in public restrooms and at the movies. The data shows a significant increase in usage across all categories over the past year.

Older generations are leading the way when it comes to adoption.

The survey questioned people from ages 18 and older and the data revealed that 25 to 34 year olds were most likely to use voice commands in public circumstances.

According to the research, older respondents might not be as likely to use the technology in public. However, those in the 35 to 44 age segment stated they were using voice command technology in private situations such as by themselves at home.

Voice technology is overwhelmingly popular out west.

Considering Silicon Valley is the epicenter of American technology, this shouldn’t be a surprise. The research discovered a majority of voice users were found to reside on the west coast. The region with the least amount of users was the midwest.

Higher educated individuals are more likely to be comfortable voice technology users.

Roughly 40 percent of respondents categorized as having done some post graduate work or owned a post-grad degree were more likely to utilize voice technology.

Ideas on voice command usage differ from actual behavior.

When asked about several situations they would use voice technology rather than their hands, most respondents answered driving. However, a closer examination showed that reality is much more different than the ideal. Most people stated that they don’t use voice commands while driving.

In a question that narrows in on the subject of driving, Stone Temple’s research found that 37 percent of respondents either rarely or never use voice commands in their cars. In comparison, respondents who answered either they frequently or very frequently use voice commands while driving only garnered a 31-percent response.

With nearly half of all adults saying they now use voice-activated digital assistants to engage with their smartphones and other devices, growing adoption is inevitable. How brands and advertisers largely respond to this will require an innovative approach to marketing as well as a dedication to thinking about using this tool in ways that don’t yet exist.

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