Virtual assistants are taking over the world!

Research from Verto Analytics shows the time we spend playing games on our phones is levelling off, but we’re getting more accustomed to virtual assistants.

Using data gathered between data gathered between June 2016 and July 2017, the Verto team has said the market penetration for personal assistant devices grew 295% year-over-year from 1.7% to 7.4%. Admittedly it is still a pretty small percentage, but considering the hype has only started gathering steam over the last few months, it is a pretty positive sign.

By May next year, the team anticipate the penetration of assistants such as Siri and Alexa will be around the 10% mark, which it believes will create an opportunity for brands, publishers, and advertisers to extend their audience reach. While the numbers are perhaps a bit higher than we expected, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. With advertising campaigns from the likes of Amazon and Google littered across our TV screens promoting smart home devices, it is unsurprising the idea is becoming normalized.

“With endless options for communication, entertainment, and content consumption, it’s no surprise that consumer behaviour is changing on a daily, even hourly, basis,” said Hannu Verkasalo, CEO of Verto Analytics.

“As we move into 2018, the rise of consumer-targeted artificial intelligence, new and improved channels for content, and the frequency of multitasking will have a significant influence on the way consumers interact, or don’t interact, with their devices. Publishers, brand and advertisers alike must understand this fluctuating consumer behaviour to maintain a healthy user base and know where to invest.”

The voice user interface has been slowly gathering steam over the last few years, and while it will still be some time before it takes over touch, breakthroughs such as the smart home, autonomous vehicles and biometric verification will help. The technology is far from perfect, which will prevent mass market penetration, but there are considerable leaps being made in the development of voice recognition and natural language understanding. Progress in such areas is always a lot quicker than most anticipate.

Overall, the amount of time spend on social media, communications, and mobile gaming has stagnated. Platforms which offer video content are being used more on average, up to 11.5 hours per month (an increase of 23%), but this is across all devices. The time spent staring at the small, blue screen is decreasing. Maybe there is hope for us after all. Just got to keep an eye out for Arnie.

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