Researchers at Partner believe that despite the fact that Apple Siri Voice Assistant appeared in 2010, the Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA) market, in fact, began to emerge only with the release and development of Amazon Alexa software. The most likely reason for this lies in the fact that Amazon has made Alexa available to developers and they have begun to release various devices with this AI. Then Google Assistant appeared, the intellectual assistant Viv, recently acquired by Samsung, is preparing for the release.
Gartner suggests that by 2019, about 20% of the user interaction with smartphones will occur through this or that virtual assistant. Experts came to such conclusions by interviewing several thousand people in the United States, Great Britain and China. It is reported that 42% of the owners of smartphones in the United States in the past three months at least once turned to a virtual assistant. More than 37% of respondents from the US and the UK use such software every day. 54% of users from the same two countries used Siri. The assistant to Google is used by 41% of respondents from the UK and 48% of respondents from the United States.
In China, the promotion of virtual assistants is even faster. “Their role will increase due to the growing popularity among smartphone users. We expect artificial intelligence, machine learning and virtual personal assistants to be one of the main trends from 2017 onwards. This will lead to the disappearance of many mobile applications that will become part of virtual assistants, ”said Annette Zimmerman, research director at Gartner.
Gartner expects virtual assistants to change the way users interact with devices and become a recognized part of everyday life. Today, they perform simple tasks, such as setting an alarm clock or searching for information on the Internet, but in the near future will be able to solve more complex tasks, such as closing a transaction based on past, present and predictable context.
The company also recalls that voice commands are not the only way to interact with virtual assistants. Gartner cites the example of Facebook Messenger, which allows you to make purchases and order Uber taxi without using specialized applications. This trend continues to grow; not only private consumers, but also business representatives are increasingly using such opportunities. For example, the integration of Microsoft Cortana with Skype will allow users to communicate with virtual assistants and in a communication application. Cortana will also facilitate interaction with third parties – bots.
According to Gartner forecasts, by 2020 there will be about 7 billion personal electronic devices, 1.3 billion wearable gadgets and 5.7 billion consumer devices of the Internet of Things around the world. Most of them will be designed in such a way that users can interact with them with minimal or no contact. Earlier it was reported that “smart” columns with virtual assistants will be a sales hit this holiday season and surpass the popularity of virtual reality devices.