Voice assistants: Rise of hands-free controls (infographic)


With assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Now and Facebook M set to become major interfaces, what are the key trends around voice controls? New data looks at the users and motivations behind this growing technology that could change the face marketing as we know it.

ZenithOptimedia and GlobalWebIndex unveiled five emerging trends on mobile – drawing on a special re-contact survey among 1,800 young mobile internet users across Brazil, India, Italy, Malaysia, the UK and the USA.

Who is using voice search?

Significantly, nearly half of respondents say they are using these tools more than they were a year ago.

The figure topped the 50% mark among men, in India and within the top income quartile.

What’s more, just 13% of these mobile web users said they had never used the function and only 10% report using it less than before. So, once people start using voice search, there’s a very strong likelihood that they will continue engaging with it – something which brings profound implications for the future of search on mobiles.


Top reasons for using voice search on mobile

The importance of speed and convenience are clear to see here. Over 40% of voice search users aged 16-34 are accessing their voice control assistants because it is quicker than searching via browser or in-app, with almost as many seeing voice control as an easier method of carrying out searches.

More practical motivations are also present; some 42% say they use this service while driving or at other times when they can’t reach for their phone. Even so, an element of fun is key too: 38% of voice search users say they are using these assistants because they are more fun than other search methods.

For more insights about the usage of smartphones and other devices, download the free summary or full client version of our new GWI Device report.


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