Study: Very Few People Use Voice Assistants in Public

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Voice assistants like Google Now, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri are all great products from their respective companies. And chances are, everyone has used them at least once. However how often have you used it in public?

If your haven't used them in public, then you're not alone. As revealed by two latest studies conducted by the California-based analyst firm Creative Strategies, consumers aren't exactly keen on using personal voice assistants when there are other people around. In an attempt to gain a better understanding of the public stance on personal assistants, Creative Strategies first ran a study focused on early adopters of Alexa in the United States and the United Kingdom, after which it also interviewed some average consumers regarding their habits and feelings related to intelligent personal assistants on their smartphones.

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The latter study revealed that every fifth consumer has never even used Siri, more than a third of them don't have any experience with Google Now, and a whopping 72% haven't tried out Cortana on any device. That isn't to say these personal assistants aren't seeing any use among people they've actually been made for – 98% of iPhone owners have used Siri in the past and — what's even more impressive considering the size of the user base — 96% of Android device owners have at least tried Google Now. However, 62% of Android users and more than two-thirds of owners of iOS devices have admitted to only rarely using the intelligent assistants available on their smartphones and tablets. The most common place where digital smartphone assistants see use is in their owners' cars, but by far the most interesting piece of data collected by this study is the fact that only 6% of people who do utilize these mobile companions have actually done so in public. As the Creative Strategies' study suggests, one of the main reasons for this phenomenon is the fact that — simply put — a lot of people are uncomfortable talking to their smartphones and are especially uncomfortable doing so in public.

What to make out of all of this? Creative Strategies' Carolina Milanesi believes that the most obvious conclusion of the aforementioned studies is that there's still a long way to go before personal digital assistants and voice-based user interfaces become the norm; provided that ever happens.