Digital assistants set to outnumber people by 2021
The number of digital assistants installed is on track to exceed 7.5 billion by 2012, which is more than the world population.
According to technology research company Ovum, Google Assistant will dominate the voice AI–capable device market with 23.3 percent market share, followed by Samsung's Bixby (14.5 percent), Apple's Siri (13.1 percent), Amazon's Alexa (3.9 percent), and Microsoft's Cortana (2.3 percent).
Ovum's study finds that smartphones and tablets are leading the market for voice AI, with 3.5 billion active devices in 2016, most of which use Google Now and Apple Siri. However, the use of AI in conjunction with other devices greatly increases consumer engagement and is set to unlock new opportunities, particularly in the home.
Ovum expects to see an exponential leap in voice AI capabilities among new devices, including wearable, smart home, and TV devices, with a combined installed base of 1.63 billion active devices in 2021, a tenfold increase on 2016. Despite all the hype that surrounds AI-capable connected speakers, it believes TV devices (such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, and media streamers) offer a larger opportunity, expecting them to account for 57 percent of the installed base by 2021.
"Ultimately, a digital assistant is just another user interface. It will only be as good as the ecosystem of devices and services that it is compatible with. Partnerships between tech giants and local service providers will therefore be key differentiators" says Ronan de Renesse, practice leader for Ovum's Consumer Technology team and author of the report. "There is a disconnect between the 'know-it-all, do-it-all' approach that current digital assistants are aiming toward and the highly personalized virtual assistance experience that consumers have dreams/nightmares about. Whoever can bring personal consumer data in a secure, non-creepy way to digital assistance will be able to bridge that gap and capture most of the opportunity."
You can find out more in the full Digital Assistant and Voice AI–Capable Device Forecast: 2016–21 which is available on the Ovum website.