The Staggering Growth of the "Voice Search" Industry

Although artificial intelligence seems like something straight out of some fancy science fiction book, it is very much a reality. Slowly easing its way through generations, it has essentially integrated itself in people’s daily lives. Even though this technology has many aspects that contribute to technological advancement, Voice Search is something which is arguably the most important branch of this tree.

Voice Search is a facility which allows users to enter their queries verbally and get their desired results. The mechanism of the technology works such that the commanding voices are transcribed to text, which is then analyzed by the system. The system is connected to external search engines, which contribute to the result finding process. Taking only an average of 4.6 seconds to load results of ~2312 words (based on approximately 29 word queries), Voice Search registers itself as an efficient tool for daily use.

But this tool did not start with such a developed base. In fact, it has a registered very humble beginning. The year 1961 saw IBM Shoebox, a device which was capable of recognizing merely 16 words and digits. No matter how poor this development it might seem now, in those times, it was an unprecedented feat- something which paved pathways for upcoming advancements. The process was slow, but promising, and it gradually yielded commendable results. In 1972, Harpy was introduced to the market. It had the ability of recognizing 1000 different words. It was in 1986 when experimentation in the field of neural network that considerable improvement started to appear. Several other companies pitched in, working independently on their own models. Competition raised the bar and the world saw giants like Google Assistant, Siri, DragonDictate, and many others, take their seats in the world of science. Statistics show that Google Home has established itself as the most popular of all the other versions, closely followed by Amazon Echo. Although quite popular, Cortana still needs to improve its quality, since the users appear to be least satisfied with it.

Initially which was regarded as a luxury afforded by only by the wealthiest became globally accessible and cheaper. Today, many of them come completely free of cost. Most of them now form integral parts of the mobile phones people usually carry with them. The dependence on this system increased slowly and gradually, but definitively. It was estimated that roughly 36.5 million Americans claim to have used Voice Search Statistics reveal that the average number of users has increased considerably since 2017. ¼ of all the shoppers in the States used some form of Voice Assistants for their holiday shoppings in the same year. Around 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers said that they use their devices in their daily routines. Moreover, 1/5th of adults who own voice-stimulated devices use them at least once a month. If these statistics are still not moving enough, then the following is surely: An NPR survey said that 65% of people who used smart speakers claimed that they cannot fathom their lives without their devices. It is hence clear that humans have started to use this tool more consistently and regularly, and their dependence on this particular aspect of technology has increased alarmingly.

Of all the people who use Voice Search, it was found that the millennials were the ones most operating the said tool. And out of all the millennials, men were found to be relying more on this technology.

There are several reasons why people are inclined toward using audio based searching. The most common one is that it allows people to enter queries without using hands. This is especially effective for people who find it difficult to type. Also, this mode of searching yields results faster.

People have been found using this tool throughout their daily activities, in the seemingly weirdest of places. Reports show that users access their devices’ audio searches everywhere, from public restrooms to theatres, from gyms to parties, doing all sorts of things like driving, exercising, watching television or even using the toilet. Such frequently is this tool being used that one is bound to ask- what do these people search for? Well, the answer is quite simple. The searches belong to a wide array. Users look for deals, sales and promo, personalized information, events, weather forecasts and directions. Other reasons include making calls and sending text messages.

But what does all this addiction and reliance mean for this multi-billion dollar industry? How can they make maximum profit out of this? One way is by realizing that voice searches are longer than 10 words, so natural language keywords has to be the next big thing. Also, since audio searches are generally based on questions, it might help to look for important keywords in queries. Using natural language that matches with customers is very likely to increase a company’s ranks, as it would respond better to questions. This market is projected to grow beyond imaginations in the upcoming years. It is estimated that 50% of all the future searches will be voice based. Household speakers, which currently are present in 13% of homes, would grow to 55% by 2022. The industry would stand at a staggering 601 Million dollar, making itself one of the largest industries.

Currently, Google Assistant tops the charts of user-friendliness. Out of the 68.1% questions that are asked from it, it is able to answer 90.6% of them correctly and efficiently. Alexa, although referred to less, has the capability of answering 87% of all the questions correctly. However, by these standards, the famous Siri is practically the least effective, having the ability to answer only 62.2% of queries efficiently. By the predictions stated above, it is clear that the competition is tough. Voice searching tools are slowly replacing other devices, like television. If the companies need to profit, they need to come up with ways they could raise standards, and provide people with the most efficient technology. Otherwise, they would definitely be crushed under the mighty weight of other giants.

100+ Quick and Fascinating Voice Search Facts & Stats (Infographic)

infographic source: Seotribunal.
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