This recent study shows we’re already accustomed to our A.I. assistants

Things are changing fast so it’s often enlightening to take a deeper dive into how society is handling our brave new world of smart home technology. The folks at Perficient Digital have been taking the pulse of the country for years, focusing on how people use voice commands in their everyday life. This week, a subsidiary of Perficient Digital called Stone Temple revealed the results of a survey of 1,700 people to learn how they use voice commands, when they use voice, and why.

“Why do we care? It’s simple,” the company says in this year’s survey. “The voice revolution is coming and it’s coming fast. In just a few years, it’s likely that you will spend as much, or more, time interacting with devices that have no screen as you do with devices that have screens, such as laptops and smartphones. This has the potential to drive huge changes in the market, including new winners and losers — and you want to be one of the winners.”

Let’s dive into some of the more interesting trends. The good news for companies working in this space is that over 60 percent of users reported that they are comfortable using voice commands with their devices at home.

Meanwhile, public use of voice commands in some odd situations is growing as well. Nearly 30 percent reported being comfortable using voice commands in a public restroom, in a theater, or in a restaurant, a result that Perficient calls, “stunningly high.”

There are also some schisms between sexes, generations, income, and geography. Among the results:

  • Men are 1.59 times more likely to use voice than women.
  • Users aged 25 to 34 are most likely to use voice commands with their smartphones.
  • Married people are 1.46 times more likely to use voice than singletons.
  • People who make more than $50,000 annually are more likely to use voice commands, while those making over $100,000 are nearly 50 percent more likely to use them.
  • Geographically, Perficient says that it’s no surprise that the top two regions for voice usage are the Northeast and the West, while the Midwest ranked last in most categories.
  • Forty-six percent of women use voice while driving, compared to 38 percent of men.

One interesting takeaway for manufacturers who are integrating digital assistant connectivity into their devices is that people are becoming more comfortable with the degree to which Google, Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, and Siri understand them, with the combination of responses marked, “Very Well, “Well,” and “Not Bad” rocketing up this year to nearly 75 percent approval.

Finally, Perficient also turned up the features that users would like to see offered in the future. These included a customized voice option, more direct answers, improved sequencing, more app integration and support for other languages.

By 2020, Perficient anticipates that 77 percent of all Internet-connected devices will be something other than a tablet, PC or smartphone while digital assistants and smart speakers continue to enjoy widespread adoption. You can check out the full results here.

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