According to data gathered by Google, parents and their kids are using smart speakers more than other crowds, and they're using them for a range of purposes that they say are making life easier for both sides of the family. Parents find the devices useful for multitasking and keeping up with the digital world while engaged with the real one, and kids, much to the delight of their parents, find smart speakers equally useful and quite entertaining. Interestingly, the data points to parents' and non-parents' usage of smart speakers being only somewhat similar in nature, and with parents having higher overall usage.
Google took a survey of smart speaker users, and found that some of the top uses include creating to-do lists, managing calendars, checking sports scores, looking for local information, and using calculation or conversion functions. Within these use cases, parents in the survey group were found to put their smart speakers to work close to 20% more often, on average, compared to non-parents in the survey group. Shopping is also a popular use case. Multitasking usage is also significantly higher than in non-parents, though the same can be said of dedicated usage, to a slightly lesser degree. When it came to the younger members of the household, listening to music was the most popular use case in the survey group. Using voice-based games and content was a fairly close second, followed by getting information, having the smart speaker's built-in assistant play content on another device, and then using calculation and conversion tools.
While this particular survey only covered smart speakers, the voice-activated computing revolution is in full swing across devices. Smartphones were the proving ground for the technology's mainstream breakthrough, and are still one of the most popular venues. Personal computers are getting in on the fun lately, though; Microsoft has had Cortana in Windows 10 PCs for some time, and Google's high-end Pixelbook includes Google Assistant functionality, a function that all Chromebooks may be getting in the near future, according to a stray code commit found in the Chrome OS codebase. No conversation about voice assistant devices is complete without talking about the AI behind them, and in this case, it is important to note that the survey did not specify that it was limited to Google Assistant devices. It is quite likely that much of the survey group owns the more popular Amazon Echo, which uses Amazon's own Alexa AI.