Voice activated devices are beginning to eat away at the amount of time we spend looking at our smartphone screens.

More people are buying devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo, and their use is coming at the expense of smartphones, according to an Accenture report.

Ownership levels of digital voice assistant (DVA) devices are projected to grow by more than 50 per cent this year, reaching 39 per cent of the online population in India, 37 per cent in the US, 34 per cent in Brazil, 33 per cent in China, 26 per cent in Germany, and 24 per cent in the United Kingdom, according to the research.

As the use of DVAs increases, smartphone use decreases, according to the report. Two-thirds of users reported using their phones less after purchasing a home assistant. Owners were using their phones less for entertainment services, online purchasing and general searches.

They are also happy with their DVAs, with the vast majority (94 per cent) of current users either satisfied or very satisfied with these products.

The research included an online survey of 21,000 consumers in 19 countries and findings are compiled in the report, Time to Navigate the Super Myway: Give digital consumers exactly what they’re looking for.

“Digital voice assistant devices are challenging smartphones as the central hub for all activities in the home,” said David Sovie, global managing director of Accenture’s High Tech business.

“These low-cost devices deliver valuable and practical benefits and are relatively easy to use, and their rapidly growing popularity is one of the most striking trends in the high-tech industry.”

Update – Australian Focus

  • The survey shows that ownership levels of digital voice assistant devices in Australia are projected to increase more than five times this year, reaching 23 per cent by the end of 2018 from 4 per cent in 2017.
  • 7 out of 10 Australian consumers who own digital voice assistants said they use their smartphones for fewer applications in the home since acquiring the devices
  • Three quarters (75 percent) of these owners said they use their smartphones less for entertainment

–  More than two thirds use them less for online purchasing (71 percent)

– More than half for general information searches and (55 percent)

The Ambient Computing War

Voice assistants are being tipped as an important battleground in the ambient computer war.

Ambient computing is the use of the Internet of Things to create seamless digital experiences in connected environments. Like asking your toaster when your first meeting is.

Who the voice inside your toaster belongs to is an important race. Google and Amazon are off to a strong start.

Google Homes were heavily discounted in the lead up to Christmas and since releasing the Google Home Mini in October, the company claims to have sold more than one Google Home device every second.

Google’s presence is also already being felt at the worlds largest consumer electronics show despite it not yet starting, as they try to chip away at Amazon’s dominance.

The company has ratcheted up its CES 2018 advertising and plastered their assistant slogan ‘Hey Google’ all over Las Vegas. They are hoping to see their artificial intelligence powered assistant integrated into a host of consumer electronics at the show and the event is being tipped as a showdown with their main rival Amazon.

Amazon got into the DVA market early and dominates the US market. The Seattle company reportedly hold between 70-76 per cent of the US smart speaker market.

Amazon’s Alexa-enabled assistant enabled devices were also the the best-selling products from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon.com in the holiday shopping period.

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