In the corner of half of UK internet homes there is a smart speaker. Whether next to family photos and a coaster for a drink next to the sofa, or between toasters, blenders and kitchen utensils, the phrases “Alexa,” “Hey Google,” or “Hey Siri” are used to motivate household jobs.
When you consider that the popularity of smart speakers in the US also reflects the popularity of the US, it is no wonder that the global smart speaker market size has been pushed back to $6.42 billion in 2020, with expectations to reach $61.87 billion by 2028. This growth may be It’s music to the ears of tech giants around the world, but the market has been showing signs of slowing down lately. According to Voicebot.ai, the smart speaker market has stabilized from 42% and 32% annual growth respectively between 2018 and 2020, to 3.4% and 4.6% since the beginning of the decade.
Similarly in the UK, growth from 2019 to 2020 was 136.5% but fell to less than a fifth of that (24.5%) from 2020 to 2021. Looking at this crisis, says future applicator Tom Chiswirget Information technology professional The virtual assistant market has reached a ceiling in the current market.
“There are two main things that happened with the singing that took out a lot of the market heat,” Cheswright says. “Firstly, these assistants have not proven to be a good application platform. There are a limited set of applications where sound makes sense, and while there are some great things you can do, they are not the general platform type of applications like a smartphone or PC platform. application, but that leads to the second point, which is people’s perception that audio is inappropriate.In many contexts, people don’t want to use audio as an interface because it will disrupt your mental flow.
Despite these issues, it indicates the widespread use of these devices and their good intrinsic value. Despite their limitations, there are still things that people love to do with them. However, the market crash may force manufacturers and customers to rethink the use of virtual assistants. With artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse gaining traction, the technology may have to adapt to a very different technology landscape than it faced when it first came onto the scene.
Finding new uses for virtual assistants
As Cheesewright points out, use of consumer virtual assistants has been limited to basic minutes, playing music, and turning lights on and off.
Virtual assistants have more uses, and having a device in an area that can provide information with a simple question justifies the investment that’s been made in the industry over the past five years, notes Joshua Kaiser, CEO of Tovie AI.
“The healthcare industry has embraced virtual assistants during the COVID-19 outbreak,” he says. “In 2019, the Voicebot found that 7.5% of American adults used a virtual assistant for healthcare needs; in 2021, that number rose to 21%, and there was also an increase in AI-powered conversational apps that help screen, triage, and diagnose people likely to have COVID-19.
“Healthcare has not been the only service brought online during the pandemic, and as a result, more companies are incorporating virtual assistants to provide a seamless online experience for customers. This development has spurred a growing trend in the chat AI industry, especially dedicated virtual assistants. Embedded in Products, Web Apps, and Mobile Apps.
The future could be dead
As Kaiser says, despite the fairly normal use cases currently on the market, interacting with voice agents is a technology that will come on its own in the future.
Yes, it’s time to mention that the Metaverse has the potential to change our lives in many ways – but some of the key differences between the Metaverse and virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies we now have are the interaction methods.
Output devices, such as keyboards and mice, would be redundant in virtual worlds, allowing people to talk to agents as they travel through the environments they find themselves in.
“This year will be the year of metaphysics as giants like Meta, Baidu, Hyundai and Lego enter the field, and virtual assistants are likely to show up in droves,” says Kaiser. “It is not just a choice of the entertainment industry, we should expect virtual offices for employees or customers in virtual reality, filled with virtual characters.
“Going forward, I believe that all major advances in virtual assistants will be related to trends in virtual characters and metaverses. Managing emotions in AI is one of the key trends this year because it allows us to humanize artificial speech, allowing virtual assistants to sound more natural.”
Cheesewirght agrees, adding that virtual assistants will be a vital means in which the metaverse will be delivered. “Voice allows the UI to make augmented reality useful and not a huge influx of popups or even trying to replicate the smartphone experience on a pair of glasses.
“There is a shift coming where most people spend ten hours a day in mixed reality. In this context, audio starts to be more useful, both in a consumer context and in a professional context, because when your main interface is not a keyboard and mouse, and AI learns Taking your own money from you, can be of great help and even take decisions on your behalf.
“Voice is a natural interface, and when you always have a pair of headphones or a pair of glasses, you can have that subtle, private conversation with your virtual assistant. I think that’s when voice becomes more important. There are issues to overcome with virtual assistants now, for example Even with ten years of development in microarrays, interpretation and algorithms, there are still major problems with understanding.But when the microphone is physically attached to your head, the clarity, comprehension, and usability should be much better.