Listening To Audio Content Leads Smart Speaker Usage

Smart speakers can be used for a number of things, but not yet high on the list is controlling other home devices.

Around 7 million smart speakers shipped last year, positioning the devices as a potential new home hub of smart devices, ultimately replacing smartphones and tablets for that activity.

However, at least in the short run, that’s not what people are using their Amazon Echo or Google Home for, based on a new study.

The study, comprising a survey of more than 400 U.S. adults who own a voice-activated smart speaker, was conducted by Edison Research for Pandora.

Smart speaker owners are doing plenty with their devices, but the last activity on the list is controlling home devices. Here’s what consumers are doing with their smart speakers:

  • 69% -- Listen to audio content
  • 58% -- Listen to music, not including AM/FM
  • 46% -- Get the weather
  • 42% -- Get a joke or converse
  • 40% -- Ask a general question
  • 27% -- Set, stop or check a timer
  • 26% -- Control home devices

Using voice assistants to manage other smart devices in the home is used less than even setting a timer.

However, the market is still in its early stages and only 7% of households in the Americas will have a connected home by the end of this year, as I wrote about here yesterday (Smart Speakers Projected To Power Smart Homes).

As more smart devices enter homes and more consumers grapple with multiple devices and apps to manage them, digital voice assistants will be sitting there waiting for their turn. It is generally easier to control devices by simply saying something.

Meantime, those smart speakers will be just fine with playing music and providing weather forecasts.

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