NEWS5 October 2017

Reluctance toward voice assisted tech revealed

News Technology UK

UK – Almost one third ( 29%) of consumers are put off using voice assistants because they don't like speaking commands out-loud, according to a report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

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The research found that women are slightly less enamoured by the tech than men ( 33% vs 25%). It was conducted by global consumer trends consultancy, the Foresight Factory, along with video behavioural research agency Watch Me Think.

Among its other findings were that about a quarter ( 26%) had used voice activated (VA) technology and 20% who hadn't used it yet were interested. Use was higher among younger respondents – the highest uptake, 51%, was among 16- to 24-year-olds.

Apple’s Siri was the most commonly used VA – 52% of users had accessed it, followed by Google Assistant ( 32%) and Amazon Echo’s Alexa and Microsoft Cortana ( 27%).

Just over half of the sample ( 54%) said they had not used the tech and were not interested in doing so in the future – primarily because they can't see how they will benefit from it.

Francesca Ashcroft, insight manager, IPA said: "The last 12 months have seen voice activated appliances launch into the mainstream like never before, with brands vying for supremacy. What originally started out as a rather whimsical piece of software hosted on our smartphones – we call to mind the arrival of Siri on the Apple iPhone 4S in 2011 –has now developed into a potential catalyst for change in how we interact with brands, products, services – and each other."

Nigel Gwilliam, consultant head of media and emerging tech, IPA, said: "This research reveals a benchmark as to where consumers’ heads are with voice assistant technology. The more optimistic predictions are that as soon as 2018, 30% of our interactions with technology will be ‘conversations'with smart machines. A year after this figure was published – and in light of these latest IPA findings – it feels a little high a little soon, however the implications for significant voice UI share remain crucial."

Online quant research among 1,000 16+ in the UK took place in August with additional video content from Watch Me Think’s UK panel demonstrating their use of voice assistant technology.