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Have a smart home hub? Chances are, it’s the Amazon Echo

There may be some competition in this space, but when it comes to smart home assistants, there’s also a clear winner. As per newly released research from eMarketer, there’s a clear cut virtual assistant of choice among American users when it comes to connected home hubs. And her name is Alexa.

While other companies have attempted to make moves on Amazon’s Echo and its AI assistant, the Seattle-based company has benefited greatly from being the first major player in the game. Sure, Google Home is adding more skills by the day, and Microsoft’s Cortana is also beginning to establish itself with a new partnership with Harman Kardon and the new Invoke speaker, but Amazon clearly has nothing to worry about at rpesent. Indeed, Amazon’s Echo claims 70.6 percent of the voice-activated assistant device market share, and eMarketer expects that this dominance will continue “for the foreseeable future.”

Of course, we ought to point out that far from every home in the U.S. has an Echo — or any smart home device, for that matter. But the numbers are certainly growing. This year, it is projected that 35.6 million Americans will turn to one of these smart home hubs and their AI assistants at least once a month. That represents an increase of 128.9 percent over last year.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement,” said Martín Utreras, vice president of forecasting at eMarketer. “As prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to adopt these devices.”

Of course, the personalities inside the devices are growing in popularity as well. It’s estimated that 60.5 million Americans will use Siri, Cortana, or another virtual assistant at least once a month, with the most frequent users aged between 25 and 34. Indeed, more than a third of millennials are expected to make use of a virtual assistant this year.

So who needs friends or helpers? All you really need is Alexa.

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