Smart home assistants need assistance to catch on

Yahoo Tech:  Voice-operated digital home assistants could revolutionize the way we interact with technology and potentially any element of the smart home. However, for the moment at least, their appeal appears to be very limited, as is how they're being used.

There's a lot of conversation around voice-activated home assistants, however, according to new data from GfK, there is currently very little conversation actually with devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home.

People's comfort levels when it comes to consciously talking to a device have never been higher. Thanks to Apple's Siri and Google Now, 69% of US consumers aged between 13 and 64 say that they have used voice commands to operate their smartphone and 21% use the feature on a tablet.

However, when it comes to the new generation of smart home assistants that are being aggressively marketed by Google and Amazon, only 11% of GfK's 1,012 respondent sample said that they currently owned one. Even though they've been on the market for almost two years and are very affordable devices -- the Amazon Dot costs just $49.99 in the US -- uptake is slow. The current split finds Amazon devices five times more popular than Google's and with just 3% of those surveyed indicating they had a strong intention of buying a digital home assistant (DHA) over the next 12 months, it appears as if Google won't be closing the gap in 2017, at least.  Full Article:

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