People More Comfortable With Voice Search In Public Places

The barrier to using voice search or commands in a public place seems to be falling. While more than half -- at 60% -- of people who use voice search do so at home, many have become less inhibited about talking on their phones in the office -- at 50% -- and in other public places such as on buses and subways, at 35%.

A consumer survey conducted by Stone Temple Consulting found that when comparing the results from 2017 to 2018 for the question “Where do people use voice search?” the only response that declined year-over-year was “at home alone.”  

Twenty-four percent of people are likely or very likely to use voice commands with their devices in a public restroom -- up from 13% in last year's survey. About 26% of people are likely or very likely to use voice commands with their devices in a gym -- up from 16% -- and some 19% of people are likely or very likely to use voice commands with their devices in a theater -- up from 8%, respectively.

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Overall, males are more likely to use voice search compared with their female counterparts. In fact, college-educated married men ages 25 to 44 years old who make between $50,000 and $99,000 annually are the most likely to use voice search and voice commands on their smartphones.

While use of voice remains dominant among those who live on the West Coast, the gap between males and females continues to narrow. In aggregate, Stone Temple Consulting determined in the latest study that men were 1.77 times more likely to use voice commands in last year’s survey, and this year that ratio has dropped to 1.59.

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