Survey reveals a very British approach to voice tech

March 20, 2014

While the use of daily voice assistants in the UK has risen significantly in the past 12 months, it turns out that the majority of people still use them for simple tasks, such as for weather forecasts or playing music.  The survey of 1,000 smart speaker owners, by Code Computerlove, found that 70% of people who own a voice assistant use it daily, compared with just 40% in 2018.  

The study revealed that the most commonly requested task is playing music (80 per cent), followed by news and weather reports (61 per cent). A quarter of Brits also use it as a timer.  Only 10% of those questioned have used their smart speaker to assist with shopping, just 8% have tasked it with ordering a takeaway and only 4% have used it to book a taxi.  

So, with more than 100,000 Alexa skills available and a predicted 12.6 million smart speaker users in the UK, why aren't us Brits being more adventurous when using voice tech?  

Code Computerlove's voice specialist, Duncan Bloor, offered his take on the survey results:

"There appears to be a gulf between the possibilities of voice and reality. While companies are optimising for voice search and developing voice-powered experiences they are perhaps not marketing these as effectively as they do on screens.  

"One potential (and obvious) barrier to this sector is that of privacy and trust. More than three quarters (77 per cent) of those surveyed were concerned at the prospect of voice devices listening to and storing their conversations - and almost a quarter (23 per cent) claimed that this alone discouraged from using the technology.  

"Clearly, privacy needs to be addressed before the mass market fully embrace this technology. Nevertheless, we are encouraged by the research results and look forward to seeing what 2020 will bring in this space of voice control."

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