35% of Americans
…own a Smart Speaker
“Why couldn’t they just flick on a light switch?”
That was the retort I heard a few times from potential investors when we were pitching the Ubi back in 2013 and 2014. One of the use cases of the Ubi was to use voice to control IoT devices like lights. They didn’t get it. They also didn’t get the dozen other killer use cases for voices.
Today, Amazon, Apple, and Google, amount others, offer smart devices either directly or embedded in third party devices. It’s sometimes infuriating to recall these memories and how sure the VC’s acted. In hindsight and maturity, I’d handle the feedback differently and know we were on to something.
The smart speaker market is worth multiple billions of dollars. 35% of Americans owning translates to well over 100M devices just in the US, according to NPR. Smart speaker sales may have peaked as the technology looks to take on new forms and voice interaction becomes embedded in applications and new types of devices, however, voice interaction continues to grow.
However, voice speakers are nothing compared to the next devices that are going to come around this decade. What they are? I don’t know yet but it will likely take half the time to see the same adoption.