A recent report released by the software giant Microsoft, reveals that 36-percent of respondents used Google Assistant, putting the search company's digital assistant at par with Apple's offering Siri.
This report is based on two studies conducted by Microsoft along with online research tool AskSuzy, and it contacted respondents from countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and India.
Microsoft notes that even though Amazon Alexa is very popular in the United States, Alexa is mostly found in smart speakers, which are still considerably fewer in number compared to smartphones, which incorporate Google Assistant and Siri. While Google's and Apple's digital assistants have a 36-percent market share, Alexa holds a 25-percent share, while Cortana has a 19-percent share of the market.
However, the software giant notes that these percentages might change soon as both Google Assistant and Siri slowly enter the smart speaker market, while Alexa is gradually becoming available in smartphones.
While Alexa continues to dominate in the smart speaker market, Google Assistant may soon make inroads among smart speakers, given that 94-percent of respondents who will but smart speakers are considering to purchase either a Google Home or a Google Home Mini smart speaker. Overall, the market research firm Gartner predicts that 75% of homes will have at least one smart speaker.
Aside from doing voice search and purchasing items through smart speakers and digital assistants, one of the primary uses of smart speakers is to manage homes equipped with smart devices like security systems, automated door locks, music, and lighting. The development of more smart products, which include appliances like cookware and ovens, will likely further drive the adoption of smart speakers within the next few months.
Developers of digital assistants seem to have understood the importance of synergies of home management devices and smart speakers. Amazon recently acquired Ring, a tech firm that manufactures video-doorbells for $1 billion, while Google purchased the tech firm Nest back in 2014 for a price tag of $3.2 billion.
In the future, both Google and Amazon may release solutions that encompass home management systems and smart speakers, resulting in an ecosystem that centers around digital assistants.
Despite the growth of digital assistants and the increasing demand for smart speakers, consumers have significant concerns about using virtual assistants. The report released by Microsoft shows that data security remains to be the biggest concern of consumers, followed by the possibility that smart speakers continue to listen and record conversations.
Recent reports on privacy concerns surrounding Amazon Alexa exacerbate these fears, including an article about how artificial intelligence researchers regularly listen to people's conversations with the digital assistant of the online retail giant.
As more consumers continue to purchase smart speakers, with some customers buying multiple units for a single home, Microsoft follows certain principles in hopes of gaining the trust of consumers, which include ensuring that users keep control of their privacy, remaining transparent about data collection practices, and protecting data through the implementation of security practices and strong encryption. Similar efforts are likely in place in other tech firms as they aim to get the trust of consumers.