Virtual assistants are picking up the pace and if the latest statistics are anything to go by then the digital assistant population will equal today’s human population in 2021. But who will win the race? According to a new survey, Google’s virtual assistant is set to dominate, leaving Apple, Amazon, and the new entrant Samsung trailing behind.
From the basic tasks of telling you how the weather is outside, the present-day assistants are capable of controlling appliances, doors, and lighting at your command. However, more than 50 percent of consumers don’t find digital assistants useful.
Based on the Ovum Digital Consumer Insights 2017: Smart Living survey, which was conducted in the UK and the US in May 2017, a third of consumers in the nations use virtual assistants on a weekly basis, and this trend is set to grow. The firm estimates the native digital assistant installed base is set to grow from 3.6 billion in 2016 to 7.5 billion active devices in the next five years, and the list of gadgets to include support for a digital assistant will not only consist smartphones, but also tablets, wearables, smart home devices, VR headsets, TV sets, set-top boxes and media streamers.
So essentially, with the rise of digital assistants, there will also be an increase in the type of compatible devices. We might be able to see an appliance, with built-in support for a voice-based assistant like Siri or Google Assistant. In the year 2018 itself, a new generation of digital assistants is expected which will provide users with a more personal experience. ALSO READ: The obsession with voice assistant speakers needs a wake-up call
Google Assistant, is expected to power 23.3 percent market share by 2021, while Siri will be taken over by the recent entrant Samsung’s Bixby, which is expected to hold 14.5 percent while Apple’s assistant is expected to have 13.1 percent share. Trailing behind in the list is Amazon’s Alexa at 3.9 percent and Microsoft’s Cortana at 2.3 percent. RELATED: Google Assistant now running on over 100 million devices: Sundar Pichai
As a report on The Next Web puts, Google will have to monetize its digital assistant to preserve its dominant position in search. By 2021, Siri will be the most widely adopted digital conversational assistant. We already have seen Apple take concrete steps in the direction with the launch of the iOS 11 in which the assistant has been improved to sound more natural. Although Siri will be most widely talked to software, but there will be only 375 million out of the base of 800 million devices, using it monthly. It is predicted that Siri’s expansion will be confined to the Apple ecosystem, restricting its growth. Unless Apple plans to develop devices in lower tiers to further engagement. ALSO READ: Apple makes Siri sound more natural with machine learning
Amazon, despite being considered as a pioneer in digital assistance technology, its Alexa has limitations in comparison with Siri and Google Assistant. It currently only supports English and German. However, it has wider demographics than the competing software, and also enjoys higher levels of engagements. In addition to that, Amazon’s newer products such as Echo Want or the Echo Show pose to have great potential to augment the use of digital assistants in the e-commerce context.
Samsung’s Bixby might be late in the race, however, given the company’s plans of moving the software besides its premium Galaxy smartphones, it is likely to see benefits in the coming years if digital assistants move beyond just smartphones. Samsung is also said to launch a Bixby SDK towards the end of this year to aid in third party development of the software and build an ecosystem of services and apps compatible with the digital assistant. RELATED: How to get Samsung Bixby Voice in India on your Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ right now