The AI-based voice services sector is experiencing a period of growth in the United States, according to a study by Adobe subsidiary CMO, and it seems to be driven by smart speakers. The now-ubiquitous gadgets are getting used daily by at least 71-percent of their owners, according to the report, which involved 1,000 participants. The survey found that there is a large number of new use cases popping up, and many that were less common, such as getting food delivered, are being embraced on a much larger scale than when the sector was still in its infancy.
To be specific about that, 70-percent of owners reported using their smart speakers to play music, making it the most common use. Weather trailed fairly close behind at 64-percent. Asking fun questions came in next at 53-percent, with less popular cornerstone entries being online research and news. Only 20-percent of respondents said they played sound-based and text-based games on their speakers, but managing finances was the least popular reported use case at only 13-percent. Adobe's data indicated that many smart speaker owners have also taken to using the gadgets to shop, though they usually tend to do research and compare prices on the smart speakers then place the orders on other devices. The popularity of smart speakers is also seemingly driving voice assistant usage on other platforms like smartphones and laptops, though 29-percent of respondents still reported feeling uncomfortable using a voice assistant around other people.
Smart speaker ownership and usage are up year-on-year, and it looks to be trending upward from here. This means that all of these trends will likely be on the upswing for the foreseeable future. Unlike the saturated smartphone market, smart speakers are a space where there's still plenty of room for not only growth but also innovation. Google is seemingly opening up Assistant to more outside developers, for example. Amazon's Echo lineup is still on top for now, with Google Home being its closest competitor. Apple does have a HomePod speaker that could see a lot of traction in the near future depending on how partnerships and promotions are handled, and that may even bring more users into the Apple ecosystem. The same could arguably be said of Samsung's upcoming Bixby-powered speaker, though the company's smartphone customers have made it pretty clear that they, on the whole, don't really like the AI assistant that much. Still, it's another entrant in a market that's still far from crowded, and it's from a new player in the space, meaning that it's really anybody's race at this point.