The biggest technology story of 2017 was clearly the rapid rise in smart speaker adoption and proliferation of voice assistant access into everyday appliances. The numbers are still rolling in, but it looks like Amazon sold over 20 million Echo smart speakers and Google Home devices were purchased at a rate exceeding one per second between October and the end of the year.
It looks like more than 40 million smart speakers are in circulation in over 20 million U.S. households. This represents an audience exceeding 50 million consumers. And, new smart speaker sales are expected to rise to 56 million in 2018.
Voice Assistants Go Global on Smart Speaker and Smartphones
Consumers in the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Austria, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, China all started their own wave of smart speaker adoption. In addition, 400 million Android smartphone users were introduced to Google Assistant while another 10 million started using Samsung’s Bixby. Voice assistants also started showing up in televisions, gaming and OTT consoles, kitchen appliances and even mirrors. Voice assistant access is quickly headed toward ubiquity in the environments we inhabit.
This rapid adoption also led to intensive developer activity as Google Assistant apps grew from a few dozen at launch in late 2016 to about 2,000 to close 2017. Even more remarkable, Amazon Alexa skills vaulted from 7,000 at the start of the year to over 25,000 at its close.
Read the full article: “2017 WAS THE YEAR OF THE SMART SPEAKER, VOICE ASSISTANTS AND XAPPMEDIA”