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Speak easy global edition

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Speak easy global edition
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Speak easy global edition

  1. 1. GLOBAL “Daydreamer” by Michael Reeder, 2016, courtesy of Michael Reeder.
  2. 2. Voice technology is sweeping the world, as assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and smart speakers such as Baidu’s Little Fish capture our imagination. Talking computers, once seen only on the silver screen, are becoming an everyday reality, at our beck and call as developments in artificial intelligence (AI) transform our relationship with them. Early adopters report that they “wouldn’t be without Alexa” as she becomes “integral” to their daily routine. Chinese YouTuber Jing Jing has accumulated 6.5 million views as she plays Eighth Note,1 the voice-activated smartphone game taking Asia by storm. The age-old medium of voice has lost none of its relevance in the 21st century. ComScore forecasts that half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020,2 and by 2021, Ovum predicts that there will be more digital assistants than humans on the planet.3 The opportunity is ripe for businesses to get immersed in the voice-activated world. We’ve investigated the impact of voice technology on consumer behavior in nine countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, and distilled the key business opportunities for brands. While there are considerable cultural nuances and market factors in each country that dictate the local response, we have also identified strong trends that resonate on a global scale. Voice technology will not just redefine how we live our lives, but will also bring dramatic change to the customer experience. Now is the time for marketers to learn how to Speak Easy. Jeremy Pounder Futures director Mindshare UK Elizabeth Cherian UK director The Innovation Group J. Walter Thompson A global trends and insight report on voice technology and its impact on brands. 1. Yvette Tan, “Play This Hilarious Voice-activated ‘Flappy Bird’ That’s Going Viral,” Mashable, March 03, 2017, on.mash.to/2smzAPk 2. Christi Olson, “Just Say It: The Future of Search is Voice and Personal Digital Assistants,” Campaign, 25 April 2016, bit.ly/2o1IvQs 3. Ovum, “Digital Assistant and Voice AI–Capable Device Forecast : 2016-21,” April 2017
  3. 3. ABOUT THIS REPORT Carried out in equal partnership between J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group London and Mindshare Futures, our research comprised several methodologies, spanning nine countries (United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Japan, Australia, China and Singapore) and covered the six-month period January 2017 to June 2017. NEUROSCIENCE EXPERIMENT In partnership with Neuro-Insight, we used Steady-State Topography (SST) brain-imaging technology to measure how the brain responds to voice technology versus text or typing alternatives for a series of tasks. The participants were 102 smartphone users aged between 18 and 65 who shop with Amazon. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH More than 30 UK respondents took part in a two-week self-ethnography project, capturing their own behaviors and attitudes in a series of voice-technology tasks. We then ran two focus groups in the United Kingdom with 12 of these participants. A mixture of early adopters (who use voice technology at least once per week) and early majority users (who use voice technology less frequently than once per week) was recruited. Roughly 40% of the early adopters already owned an Amazon Echo/ Echo Dot. We repeated the focus groups in Shanghai in partnership with Kantar. EXPERT INTERVIEWS We conducted in-depth interviews with experts across sectors including artificial intelligence (AI), neuroscience, marketing, sound design and radio. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH We carried out a quantitative survey using SONAR™, J. Walter Thompson’s proprietary market research tool, surveying over 1,000 smartphone owners aged 18+ in four countries (United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Spain). We also partnered with Kantar to conduct a survey of around500smartphoneownersaged18+ in an additional five countries (Thailand, Japan, Australia, China and Singapore). The total number of respondents globally amounted to 6,780. SECONDARY RESEARCH We carried out extensive desk research that synthesized international cross-category case studies. DING DONG PARTNERSHIP Beijing Linglong Co., Ltd provided DingDong home smart speakers for our Chinese focus group research. J. Walter Thompson is also partnering with LingLong Tech to explore and develop branded voice content and solutions in China. 3
  4. 4. CONTENTS GLOBAL VIEW Voice Today The Future Voice Consumer Brand Futures Implications MARKET USAGE Australia China Germany Japan Singapore Spain Thailand United Kingdom United States THANK YOUS Intuition Robotics has created ELLI•Q™, an active voice companion for older adults, designed to help them engage with new technologies. 06 17 27 36 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55
  5. 5. GLOBAL VIEW Resonantia by Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown explores the relationship between photography and music, by visualising 12 musical notes and converting the photographs into audio.
  6. 6. VOICE TODAY We stand on the cusp of a fundamental shift in how we relate to computers. Over the past 50 years, we have been on a journey that has repeatedly simplified our modes of interaction, from punch cards to keyboard, mouse and then touch. Now we return to the most natural and intuitive form of interaction—voice. For most of our cultural evolution as a species, humans have transmitted knowledge and ideas from one generation to another through oral tradition—the voice is therefore perhaps the most innate and intuitive way for us to communicate Nick Ryan, composer, sound designer, artist and audio specialist Developments in speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP) mean we can now talk to computers in a way that only appeared in science fiction until just a few years ago. Speech recognition error rates now match human parity at 5%, and are improving all the time.4 Google recently announced that it had cut its speech- recognition error rate by more than 30% since 2012.5 A lot of people underestimate the difference between 95% and 99% accuracy in speech recognition... it’s the difference between you hardly using it and using it all the time without thinking about it Andrew Ng, former chief scientist, Baidu6 As technology further develops, voice interactionwillnotonlyshapehowweliveour lives but also how brands reach consumers. GLOBAL LANDSCAPE The current voice landscape is dominated by tech giants that offer propositions on a global scale. According to Google, 20% of US mobile searches on Android are by voice,7 and Amazon sold 11 million Echo devices worldwide in the period from mid- 2015 to 1 December 2016.8 Future growth is anticipated to be strong. The technology research consultancy Ovum estimates that by 2021 the native digital assistant installed base will surpass 7.5 billion active devices —more than one per person on the planet. Ovum predicts Google Assistant will take the lion’s share of the market with 23%, followed by Samsung’s Bixby (14.5%), Siri (13.1%), Amazon’s Alexa (3.9%), and Microsoft’s Cortana (2.3%).9 Human language is the new user interface layer Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft10 4. Chris Weller, “IBM Speech Recognition Is on the Verge of Superhuman Accuracy,” Business Insider UK, March 9, 2017, read.bi/2rCSVZQ 5. Jordan Novet, “Google Has Slashed Its Speech Recognition Word Error Rate By More Than 30% Since 2012,” VentureBeat, January 11, 2017, bit.ly/2sIaMxB 6. Contagious, “Bedtime Story Sounds,” December 13, 2016, bit.ly/2mM1KgJ 7. Jennifer Slegg, “20% of Google’s Mobile Search Queries Are Now Voice Queries,” The SEM Post, May 19, 2016, bit.ly/2n0oAli 8. Ángel González, “Amazon Has Sold More Than 11 Million Echo Devices, Morgan Stanley Says,” Seattle Times, January 19, 2017, bit.ly/2nV4Oab 9. Ovum, “Digital Assistant and Voice AI–Capable Device Forecast: 2016–21,” April 2017 10. Richard Waters and Daniel Thomas, “Microsoft Puts AI at Centre of Tech Plans,” Financial Times, March 30, 2017, on.ft.com/2s99i33 The Echo Dot, which learns and adapts to its owner, is the smallest smart speaker in Amazon’s collection. 6
  7. 7. AMAZON Powered by voice assistant Alexa, the Amazon Echo first went on sale in the US in 2014 exclusively for Amazon Prime members, but became widely available in 2015. The launch of Echo and the smaller Echo Dot at the end of September 2016 in the UK and Germany kickstarted consumer interest by creating a new device category for voice. There is talk of expansion to Asia this year, with a rumored launch in Japan. Amazon has recently launched versions of the Echo with a screen (Echo Show) and a camera (Echo Look). Alexa hosts third-party skills, which function much like apps but over a voice-user interface (VUI). They can deliver entertainment and information, execute an action, or enable control of other devices. Amazon has also made Alexa available to hardware developers as Alexa Voice Service to build into their own products in an attempt to stimulate the market. As an ecommerce platform, Amazon’s strongest advantage over its competitors in this category is its unparalleled understanding of consumer shopping. GOOGLE Google launched Home, its domestic hardware equivalent to Echo, in the US in 2016 and expanded into the UK in April 2017. Google Home is currently available for pre-order in Canada, with launches in Australia, France, Germany and Japan expected to follow this summer. Home allows third parties to create Conversation Actions, which are the equivalent of Amazon’s skills. It is powered byAssistant,avoiceassistantthatiscurrently available on over 100 million devices, including the iPhone, through the Allo messaging platform.11 As of May 2017, Allo supports French, Spanish, German, Hindi and Japanese and we expect some of these languages to expand to the Home device over time. Irrespective of the assistant interface, voice capabilities have been built into the Google Search and YouTube apps since 2009. Google’s main advantage in the voice landscape is its deep understanding of its users through search and its range of other services, such as Gmail. APPLE Apple is a voice pioneer, having launched its voice assistant Siri in 2011. Late to the smart speaker category, it announced the launch of its HomePod speaker at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2017.12 While it has integrated Siri into wearables such as the Apple Watch and AirPods, it is challenged by a comparative lack of machine-learning capabilities and user data to make a voice assistant fully intelligent, despite its sophisticated aesthetic that appeals to design-conscious users. The emphasis on audio quality in the launch of the HomePod, rather than its role as a digital assistant, reflects this, as does its wider strategic focus on data privacy and security. Nevertheless, Siri’s strength is its global reach of 36 countries and ability to speak 21 languages.13 11. Kaluka Wanjala, “Google Assistant Is Active on 100 Million Android Devices,” TechArena, May 19, 2017, bit.ly/2qXEFbV 12. Chris Foxx, “Apple Reveals HomePod Smart Speaker,” BBC, June 5, 2017, bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40158158 13. Stephen Nellis, “Apple’s Siri Learns Shanghainese as Voice Assistants Race to Cover Languages,” Reuters, March 9, 2017, reut.rs/2mwGfzx Apple’s HomePod is a Siri- enabled smart speaker, available in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom from December 2017. 7
  8. 8. OTHER ASSISTANTS Microsoft has developed Cortana, which works across Windows platforms and will be incorporated into Harman Kardon’s Invoke smart speaker in the United States in autumn 2017.14 Cortana is currently available in 13 countries, speaking English, French, Chinese (simplified), Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. Samsung announced in March 2017 that its voice assistant Bixby would replace S Voice in the Galaxy S8 in South Korea. Rumors point to an additional integration of Viv, the artificial intelligence built by Siri’s original developers, which Samsung acquired in 2016, with the aim of building voice interfaces into all its consumer products over the coming years. Bixby previews in the United States in June 2017.15 Chinese search giant Baidu unveiled its smart speaker Xiaoyu Zaijia (Little Fish in English) at CES in January 2017. Unlike most current devices on the market, Little Fish features a screen and camera. Chinese ecommerce platform JD.com has also launched LingLong DingDong, a home speaker that takes design cues from the Echo, in the region. Much like Echo and Home, the DingDong provides access to a suite of third-party apps or services which must be activated before use. Although both these devices are available only in China, a consumer reach of one billion makes these products significant players. Finally, while the Facebook Messenger digital assistant M is currently text- based, pundits anticipate the tech giant’s next move might be in the voice arena. Considering its user data and its machine- learning skills, Facebook could be a future contender in the voice space. 14. David Pierce, “The Invoke Smart Speaker Brings Microsoft’s Cortana AI to your Living Room,” Wired, May 8, 2017, bit.ly/2q1YfoE 15. Todd Haselton, “Galaxy S8 Bixby Voice Assistant Will Launch in US Next Month, Report Says,” CNBC, May 31, 2017, cnb.cx/2qXz5qf LingLong DingDong is the Chinese equivalent to Amazon Alexa, serving as a voice-activated, cloud- based smart speaker. 8
  9. 9. BEYOND ASSISTANTS We are also witnessing a rise in voice- activated social robots. The toy-like Sota will act as a translator at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and SoftBank’s Pepper, a child- sized robot, has been used to greet visitors at the Hilton McLean hotel in the US and at two Belgian hospitals. The MoRo robot from Chinese startup Ewaybot can be used in the home to assist with everyday activities. Manufacturers as diverse as Mattel and Ford are building in voice capability to enhance their products. Voice-activated customer service is also becoming more commonplace. The My Starbucks barista skill allows customers to place orders simply by talking into their phone. Manually typing is slower, especially on certain shopping platforms. Using a voice assistant is definitely more convenient and I get better results Focus group respondent, China Voice technology is also being used to help people in public spaces. IBM Watson worked with the Pinacoteca de São Paulo museum in Brazil to help people interact with art exhibits through voice technology.16 We’re going to see coalescing around a small number of virtual assistants, and it’ll just make good business sense to fit within that ecosystem Duncan Anderson, former chief technology officer, IBM Watson Europe 16. IBM Brazil, “The Voice of Art with Watson,” April 13, 2017, http://bit.ly/2sKFqKT Jibo uses voice and facial recognition technology to identify individual users and sense how they are feeling. 9
  10. 10. Across the nine countries we surveyed, on average 47% of smartphone users depend on voice technology of some kind at least once a month and 31% use it at least weekly (see Figure 1). That equates to almost 600 million people—more than the populations of the United States and Brazil combined —already engaging with this new user interface. A sizeable proportion (18%) say they have only used voice technology once or twice, reflecting some of its teething problems. In our focus groups, a difficulty in understanding accents, dialects and natural speech was one of the main issues, alongside a lack of intelligence and an inability to understand context or complex sentences. Despite this, only 8% say they would never use or consider using it. Current weekly voice users across the nine markets are significantly more likely to be young (38% are aged 18-34) and male (58%), reflecting a typical early tech adopter profile. They broadly reflect the smartphone user profile in terms of above-average affluence, with 39% in the top income band.17 Voicetechnologywillinevitablybecomemore ubiquitousastimegoesby,asthere’ssignificant appetite for more voice-enabled devices. More than two thirds of global smartphone users are interested in the prospect of voice- activated televisions (69%) and light switches (66%), while almost half (45%) are interested in the idea of chatting to their fridges. JOINING THE CONVERSATION 17. The top income band equates to the highest third in each country. Income bands referenced throughout the report are aligned with GfK Consumer Life data for all countries except Thailand, where we used Mindshare’s Mindreader. *regular voice tech users are defined as people using voice technology at least once a week %71 of regular voice tech users* globally feel that speaking to tech now comes naturally “Manicurist” by Aleksandra Kingo, for Curious Contraptions for the Modern Woman editorial in Hunger magazine, courtesy of Aleksandra Kingo. 10
  11. 11. Global smartphone owners Once or twice, ever Once or twice At least once a month I have never used it and will never use it 12 18 21 49 Japan 37 38 8 17 Australia 9 28 21 42 Singapore 69 10 15 6 United States 16 4317 24 Germany 4718 27 8 Global Global smartphone owners: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australia, China, Japan, Thailand and Singapore Source: Kantar and SONARTM VOICE TECH UTILIZATION 18 27 2 Spain 53 37 23 28 12 United Kingdom 4422 30 4 China 523 Thailand 13 10 13 60 Figure 1.
  12. 12. THE TASKS AT HAND Voice usage can be split into two main types: tasks carried out entirely by voice, and tasks that are initiated by voice and completed on screen. Currently, tasks best suited to voice interaction are simple enough that both the question and response can be delivered through this interface. Examples include setting an alarm, playing music or asking a question such as, “Alexa, what’s the weather like today?” (see Figure 2). More sophisticated exchanges may take time. Respondents have reported a lack of confidence in their voice assistant’s ability to deliver perfect results, with 71% of all regular voice tech users agreeing with the statement: “I always need to check my screen when using voice technology as I don’t trust it to follow my instructions if I only speak to it.” As voice assistants become more intelligent and support more complex dialogue, opportunities for 100% voice interactions shouldgrow.AnearlyexampleistheJohnnie Walker skill for Alexa, which initiates a back- and-forth conversation, posing questions to deliver the perfect whisky recommendation. Despite these developments, the interplay between voice and screen is likely to remain important. This is particularly true where interactions involve reviewing a range of options or seeing what a product looks like. In an ideal world, it would be good if all the information came up on a chosen device like your TV, giving you a chance to look at similar products, prices, reviews etc and then purchase using voice Male 45-year-old focus group respondent, UK We already see devices that blend voice and a screen, such as Amazon’s Echo Show and Baidu’s Xiaoyu Zaijia (Little Fish). In fact, half of the smart speakers we identified in the APAC region integrate a visual component. The interplay between voice and screen will add yet another dimension to the omnichannel consumer experience. It’s tiring to use the screen all the time. I want to get information without tiring my eyes Female 50-year-old focus group respondent, China Amazon’s Echo Show is a wifi-enabled home device with a screen, allowing users to make video calls and interact with visual media. Echo Show is available in the United States from summer 2017. 12
  13. 13. Global smartphone owners: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australia, China, Japan, Thailand and Singapore Source: Kantar and SONARTM *regular voice tech users are defined as people using voice technology at least once a week Common tasks carried out using voice by regular voice tech users* Global regular voice tech users THE TASKS AT HAND Figure 2. 60 % 60 53 50 42 41 41 29 28 24 14Doing online searches Playing music Finding information on a brand or company Asking for directions Setting alarms Checking travel information Asking questions Checking news headlines Home management tasks Finding information on a product I am interested in
  14. 14. Consumers currently prefer to use voice in private spaces, particularly the home, where smart speakers such as Echo and DingDong thrive. The car also makes a suitable venue for voice technology, allowing drivers to multi- task, hands-free. Already, car manufacturers such as Ford, Volkswagen and Hyundai have started integrating Alexa into their vehicles. This is particularly true in car-centric markets such as the United States, where 65% of regular voice users carry out voice interactions while driving, compared to 40% globally. There is a reluctance among many to use voice in public spaces, particularly in countries where speaking out loud in public might be seen as culturally inappropriate. In Japan, for example, 72% of regular voice users say “I would feel too embarrassed to use voice technology in public,” compared to 57% globally. Spain, at only 47%, shows the lowest level of embarrassment at using voice in public. As a result, Spanish people are the most likely to use voice “while walking down the street” (51% versus the global average of 31%). Perhaps as we use voice more in the home and the car, people will start to get more used to it, and the feeling-daft factor fades away a bit Duncan Anderson, former chief technology officer at IBM Watson Europe As people become desensitized, public usage may increase in some markets. Voice-responsive headphones such as Apple’s AirPods or Doppler Labs’ Here One could prove popular by creating semi- private interactions. Service robots and voice-activated help devices in retail and leisure could also help drive normalization. I have got used to using voice in the car, at my office and at home, but not any other places Female 34-year-old focus group respondent, China Voice assistants aren’t used in public often. But, if more people used them, that trend would change. When I use mine, I get stared at and feel uncomfortable Focus group and online community participant, China PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE Voice assistant-enabled wireless earbuds combine premium audio, smart noise cancellation and speech enhancement for a unique listening experience. 14
  15. 15. DECIDING FACTORS Across the nine markets, smartphone users who have thus far opted out of voice technology have ranked the key factors that would inspire them to consider it. They are looking for guarantees of personal privacy, a better understanding of the impact the service could make on their lives, and a promise that the technology will seamlessly integrate into their lives (see Figure 3). Guarantees around personal data security ranks number one in six of the nine markets. All other countries rank it second, although only 27% of Japanese respondents feel this is key. What’s more, half our global respondents express worry about companies listening to the conversations they have with their voice assistant. There is significant regional variation in levels of privacy concern, however. Australia demonstrates a relatively relaxed attitude (only 31% express concern), while other countries are more privacy- conscious (66% of Singaporean voice users are concerned). Yet expressing concern is not the same as taking action. In our view, the proportion of people who claim to be concerned about privacy exceeds those prepared to modify their behavior as a result. I personally find it quite convenient to always have [Alexa] there listening—although that does throw up some privacy issues for me, it’s something I am willing to overlook Male focus group and online community participant, UK Nonetheless, privacy is a key issue that won’t go away. Developers of voice interfaces will need to make it a priority. Seamless integration of the service is another top priority. Users of voice are looking for greater integration across platforms, devices and contexts, picking up conversations where they left off and building on prior understanding. This is certainly Amazon’s goal in licensing Alexa to third-party hardware manufacturers. I would love the AI to be able to keep track of the topic or subject of the conversation, without always having to reintroduce the subject or topic when asking a new question Online community participant, UK Finally, a better grasp of the value proposition is needed across the board. Many potential users cannot see the advantage voice has over touch or type, with 29% of all non-voice users saying they “don’t see the point.” This rises considerably in some of the more skeptical markets, such as the UK (48%) and Germany (39%). Some of the teething problems with speech recognition accuracy and the precise language that is required by some assistants to complete tasks are contributing to this perception. As the technology improves, and more examples of the positive impact voice can make on people’s lives emerge, adoption is likely to grow. 15
  16. 16. United States United Kingdom Germany Spain Australia China Japan Thailand Singapore The voice assistant could fit seamlessly into their lives % % 70 40 30 60 50 They had more information about what a voice assistant can do There were guarantees around their personal security DECIDING FACTORS 3930 43 35 34 4642 28 43 46 Global smartphone owners: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Australia, China, Japan, Thailand and Singapore Source: Kantar and SONARTM Global non-users of voice tech who would consider using it if: 613933 542713 574839 43 4540 544938 43 40 Figure 3.
  17. 17. THE FUTURE VOICE CONSUMER AS WE LOOK TOWARDS THE FUTURE, A NUMBER OF GLOBAL TRENDS WILL SHAPE HOW CONSUMERS USE AND FEEL ABOUT VOICE. “Everybody Scream” by Rankin, 2016, for Hunger magazine issue 11, courtesy of Rankin.
  18. 18. Alexa High Mental Activity Correct Answer Response Low Mental Activity Text Source: Neuro-Insight study Feb 2017; n = 102 UK smartphone users. Brain activity measured using SST headsets; unit of measurement is radians, which equates to strength of brain response; respondents were asked to carry out a series of tasks either speaking to Alexa or typing into an iPad. Figure 4. VOICE THE HUMAN BRAIN Our research identifies efficiency as a primary motivation for using voice. The top three reasons for regular users globally are “it’s convenient” (52%), “I don’t have to type” (48%) and “it’s simple to use” (46%). To explore this further, we worked with Neuro-Insight, a leading neuroscience research agency, to investigate the brain’s response to voice interactions, compared to touch or typing. We found that voice interactions showed consistently lower levels of brain activity than their touch equivalent. Specifically, both left-brain and right-brain memory encoding were lower, indicating that voice response is less taxing than its screen-based equivalent (see Figure 4). This supports the idea that voice, the oldest form of human communication, is inherently more intuitive than any other. In fact, 35% of global regular voice users tell us that they use voice tech when they are feeling lazy. This was particularly the case in Germany (45%), the United States (44%), and China (43%), where consumers value respite from the pace of everyday life. With only one word, ‘mornings,’ DingDong will automatically update me with the weather and the news Male 27-year-old focus group respondent, China EASING THE COGNITIVE LOAD CONSUMERS WILL EMBRACE VOICE AS A LESS MENTALLY TAXING FORM OF INTERACTION. 18
  19. 19. The voice-enabled iTranslate dictionary and translation app allows users to read, write and even start voice conversations in more than 90 languages. Some companies are already tapping into the human bias towards voice. Travel app HelloGbye, which in November 2016 launched a partnership with American Express, allows users to dictate their dates of travel, destination and the number of people with whom they are travelling to generate a suitable list of flight and hotel options. As with most voice-activated services, this saves time and offers users an effortless, streamlined experience. These are some of the key benefits of voice described by our focus groups. DingDong is simple, fast and convenient—perfect for lazy people like me! Female 29-year-old focus group respondent, China Baidu’s TalkType keyboard app in China prioritizes voice over typing when it comes to messaging. While the app still features a keyboard, the default option is voice. In countries where written language is character-based rather than alphabet- based, messaging can be particularly time-consuming as thousands of graphic characters must be recreated in phonetic characters. This makes the ease of voice interaction especially appealing. FrictionlessexperiencesapplyoutsidetheB2C context too: Beijing-based Unisound provides medical cloud services that allow doctors to use voice to create records, potentially saving them up to two hours per day. Indeed, we found that 51% of regular voice users in China use it because they don’t have to type. This motivation was even stronger in Japan (57%) and Thailand (54%). We believe that the relative ease of voice interactionwillmakeitincreasinglyattractive to consumers throughout the world, particularly those feeling overwhelmed by technology. 19
  20. 20. WHY VOICE TECHNOLOGY? Just for fun My phone is out of reach I’m walking I’m in a rush I’m driving My hands are dirty My hands are full I’m feeling lazy It is faster to use Global smartphone owners who have ever used voice Global regular voice tech users* Figure 5. Source: Kantar and SONARTM *regular voice tech users are defined as people using voice technology at least once a week
  21. 21. THE DIGITAL BUTLER VOICE ASSISTANTS WILL TAKE A MORE PROACTIVE ROLE IN MANAGING OUR LIVES. As voice assistants get smarter, they have the potential to evolve into proactive services, making useful recommendations and even managing choice on behalf of their users. In effect, they will become the “digital butler” or “pocket concierge” that helps us at every turn. Both Google and Amazon have taken a step on this path already, launching proactive notifications for their Home and Alexa devices respectively. For example, Google Home will now light up when it has something to say, such as a reminder of an upcoming appointment or news about a traffic delay. Amazon is going one step further by offering developers the option to integrate this feature into their skills in the future. This is something that consumers seem to want: 39% of all smartphone users globally say they are excited about the prospect that “my voice assistant will anticipate what I need and take actions or make suggestions.” This is particularly strong in Asian markets that are rapidly embracing voice, such as China (64%) and Thailand (57%). Duer is very smart. When my wife asked if she can wear a skirt, it said, ‘Yes, today is warm enough to wear a skirt.’ It helps to make decisions directly Male 40-year-old focus group respondent, China The ELLI•Q™ active aging companioin helps users navigate the complexities of the digital world, keeping them entertained through online games and connected to friends and family with video chats. 21
  22. 22. Baidu’s voice assistant Duer makes suggestions based on past purchases. In Germany, users trust personal assistant app Mia to organize all aspects of their professional lives, while users in Australia rely on the artificially intelligent business advisor BRiN to solve complex business problems on their behalf. Apple’s newly launched watchOS 4, debuted in June 2017, features a proactive Siri watch face which updates dynamically throughout the day to display helpful personalized updates such as upcoming appointments, weather alerts or traffic information. While some choice will most likely always be important to consumers across many scenarios, the process of narrowing down choice is a useful service that digital assistants can offer. Voice assistant developers must consider how much variety to suggest (and serendipity to introduce) when delivering recommendations, and when it’s appropriate to make the decision on the user’s behalf, such as a repeat purchase. What’s more, providers need to earn trust through a track record of successful service before dependency can grow. They also need to alleviate users’ privacy concerns and demonstrate responsibility with the personal data needed to make meaningful suggestions. As one UK focus group participant explains, “You can build trust by, hopefully, making sure no one’s ripped off while giving them access to do amazing things.” For brands, the key challenge will be to ensure that they are recommended by the “digital butler” ahead of their competitors—a topic explored further in the Brand Futures section of this report. 45 of potential voice users globally say they would be encouraged to use voice if there were “guarantees around my personal data security” % Laundrapp, a laundry pick-up and delivery service, has developed an Alexa skill to make the process more convenient for users. 22
  23. 23. % Xperia Ear is an in-ear, voice-controlled personal assistant created by Sony. The device provides social media updates as well as information about missed calls and calendar appointments. VOICE WILL FREE US UP TO INTERACT BETTER WITH THE WORLD AROUND US. LIBERATION FROM THE SCREEN Voice technology could be the key to liberating users from the omnipresent screen. Withnoneedfortypingandswiping,imagine how heads will shift their focus upwards away from the screen. Voice will allow us to get reacquainted with the real world around us. This presents brands with exciting opportunities to engage their audiences. Outside the home, in-ear “hearables” such as Sony’s Xperia Ear allow users to enjoy voice tech hands-free while out and about. Apple Airpods and Motorola’s Moto Hint let users leave their phone in their bag or pocket and control their smartphones by voice. In this way, voice could even improve human interactions. 53of global smartphone users think “voice technology will help people interact more with each other as they won’t be always looking down at a screen” This view is particularly strong in China, where 78% agree. 23
  24. 24. % The Apple watchOS 4 features a Siri-enabled watch face that proactively sends notifications. Of course, liberation from the screen is unlikely to be absolute. The launch of the Echo Show and the prevalence of screen- based smart speakers in Asia are testament to the need for supporting visuals on certain occasions. But as augmented and mixed reality go mainstream, this need may fall by the wayside. 69 of global smartphone users agree that “it would be much easier if technology could speak back to me” You can keep hands free and carry on doing what you’re doing. Even walking here actually, today, I wasn’t sure where we were so I just asked [my phone’s voice assistant] for directions. It took me here and then said, when I was outside the door…‘You are now here’ Focus group respondent, UK For brands, the challenge will be twofold. First, they will need to ensure that services or content can be easily accessed through voice in a simple and engaging manner. Second, they will need to think how they can capture the attention of consumers through content accessible in the Internet of Things. 24
  25. 25. As advances in machine learning continue, voice assistants will become far better equipped to understand their users. As this understanding deepens, we expect people to grow closer to their assistants. We already see a consumer appetite for voice assistants to be able to understand them more fully. 73 of global smartphone users agree that “if voice assistants could understand me properly and speak back to me as well as a human can, I’d use them all the time” At present, voice technology typically struggles to grasp language subtleties, regional accents and context. It also has difficuties remembering past behavior and preferences. More often than not it speaks with a voice that is fairly robotic, with little personality. As a result, emotional attachment to voice assistants is currently limited. Our neuroscience experiments found that the emotional response to voice assistants is considerably lower than the response to either a face-to-face human interaction or a touch or text interface. Yet the emotional response to Alexa grew during the course of our experiments as people became more comfortable using it (see Figure 6), pointing to the potential for a closer relationship. What’s more, when people asked a question involving a brand name, their brain activity showed a significantly stronger emotional response compared to people typing that same brand question (see Figure 7). This is borne out further by some of the early adopters of voice, for whom a deeper emotional attachment is starting to develop. CRAVING INTIMACY VOICE USERS WILL DEVELOP STRONG EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS TO THEIR VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS. % “Jump to It” with Winnie Harlow by Rankin, for Hunger magazine issue 11. 25
  26. 26. 00 0.5+ Radians Alexa Text -0.5 0.5+-0.5 Source: Neuro-Insight study Feb 2017; n = 102 UK smartphone users. Brain activity measured using SST headsets; unit of measurement is radians, which equates to positivity of brain response 0.17 0.09 -0.33 0.26 First Question All Questions Figure 6. EMOTIONAL RESPONSE BY QUESTION Globally, almost half (43%) of regular voice technology users say that they love their voice assistant so much they wish it were a real person. This is particularly true in the markets that enthusiastically embrace voice, such as China (65%) and Thailand (61%). Even more astonishing is that more than a quarter (29%) of global regular voice users say they have had a sexual fantasy about their voice assistant. It is interesting, when something acts naturally and human back to you, how much we imbue it with sentience, with human personality Martin Reddy, cofounder and chief technology officer, PullString While extreme, this points to an anthropomorphization of the voice assistant, chiming with the 69% of regular voice technology users globally who say “I want to feel like I’m talking to a real human when I talk to my voice assistant.” Gatebox, a Japanese device akin to the Echo, gives an indication of how this could develop. It contains Azuma Hikari, a three-inch holographic girl. Capable of recognizing the user’s face and voice, she is designed to be a home companion. You find yourself saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to [Alexa] Male 45-year-old focus group respondent, UK For brands, the opportunity will be to use voice effectively to foster an ever-closer relationship with their consumers. At the same time, we can expect voice assistants to become increasingly powerful gatekeepers to the consumer. It should be able to sense my emotion, tell me some jokes when I am in a good mood and comfort me when I am upset Male 28-year-old focus group respondent, China 26
  27. 27. BRAND FUTURES AS VOICE BECOMES AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT MODE OF BRAND-CONSUMER INTERACTION, WHAT WILL IT MEAN FOR BRANDS? WE’VE IDENTIFIED FIVE KEY THEMES THAT BRANDS NEED TO CONSIDER IF THEY ARE TO THRIVE IN A VOICE-ACTIVATED WORLD. “Joke’s on You” by Daniel Thomas Smith, 2016, for Hunger magazine issue 11, courtesy of Daniel Thomas Smith.
  28. 28. 18. Chris Welch, “Google Home is Playing Audio Ads for Beauty and the Beast,” The Verge, March 16, 2017, bit.ly/2rL0iAy 19. VoiceLabs, “The 2017 Voice Report,” January 15, 2017, bit.ly/2jJlyk7 20. Finbarr Toesland, “Voice Search and Chatbots Are Transforming Commerce”, Raconteur, September 8, 2016, bit.ly/2mIu4iT $2billion of sales were forecast to be driven by digital assistants in 2016 alone.20 GRAPPLING WITH THE VOICE GATEKEEPERS It seems unlikely that the interruptive model of paid advertising will translate easily to voice, as users demand a more streamlined experience. Google Home customers in the United States kicked up a fuss when Google Assistant gave out unsolicited information about a new Disney film.18 Google quickly removed the ad. I think the reality is that we’re just not interested in advertising—it’s a very different world. I don’t want to talk to my device and then it gives me an advert for five minutes. That’s just never going to work Duncan Anderson, former chief technology officer, IBM Watson Europe With the future of traditional advertising in doubt, brands can reach consumers over a VUI by building services for Echo, Home or DingDong. While these services offer companies the opportunity to create a branded experience over the platform, they hold limited promise for direct consumer engagement in the future. There has been limited uptake by users thus far. According to a 2017 report from VoiceLabs, there are more than 7,000 skills on the Alexa platform but only 31% of these have more than one customer review, suggesting the majority of applications aren’t being downloaded.19 Users dislike the particular commands required to make the skills function properly. What’s more, the technology is currently not able to deliver a unique voice that’s also interactive, giving brands little scope to differentiate themselves from the voice assistant (as well as from their competitors). Some skills stand out, such as the Uber skill, which allows Alexa users in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany to order and cancel rides or to check a request status. Uber has a loyal following and those using voice want to order from Uber particularly, rather than any taxi service the voice assistant might choose. But many situations don’t require a branded solution, nor do users think in these terms. Instead, they have a problem, such as a grease stain on their clothes, and they want the voice assistant to tell them how to remove it before going back out to their dinner party. No one has the time or inclination to follow the steps to activate the Tide stain-removal skill specifically, for example. Any dependable advice will do. ADVERTISERS WILL NEED TO REAPPRAISE RELATIONSHIPS WITH VOICE ASSISTANT PROVIDERS AS VUIS STRENGTHEN THEIR ROLE AS CONSUMER GATEKEEPERS. Google Home, a voice-activated speaker connected to Google Assistant, allows the user to ask questions and control their smart home. 28
  29. 29. Joseph Evans, senior research analyst at Enders Analysis, predicts, “You’ll have a layer of skills by developers and they will present themselves to the Alexa central level, saying, ‘I can do X, I can do Y, I can do Z.’ And then when you have a user request, Alexa will do some kind of machine learning and say, ‘Okay, what they said means that they want Y,’ right?” The user will not interact with the brand directly. There’s a pretty good argument… that the people who put these devices in your home seek to own the market because they own the habit Nir Eyal, bestselling author and lecturer at Stanford University With these services likely to recede into the background of the overall voice assistant experience, and with the interruptive ad model being questioned, brands face a future in which a few key VUI providers act as gatekeepers to consumers, who rely on their voice assistant to deliver solutions to their problems and to purchase products on their behalf. Amazon has developed the Echo Look, an Alexa- powered camera that takes fashion photos and videos. 29
  30. 30. RECOMMENDATION AND ALGORITHM OPTIMIZATION While we have seen many smart speakers with integrated visual interfaces, voice technology works best when there’s only one answer, according to 80% of global regular voice technology users. As the market for voice technology matures, brands may have to pursue a number of strategies to ensure that voice assistants surface their brand as that single result. Currently, there’s still much debate about how this may play out. Here we consider three possibilities: paid recommendations, the affiliate model and algorithm optimization. In some circumstances it may be possible for a voice assistant to offer a “paid recommendation” to a user. For instance, asking Alexa to buy more washing powder could lead to the (paid) suggestion of an alternative offer. The key to this model’s success will be user trust that the suggestion is right for them and not just lucrative for the voice assistant provider. When there are many [options], you don’t want to hear them all, nor can you remember Female 34-year-old focus group respondent, China An alternative might be an affiliate model, similar to price comparison services today. The voice assistant could deliver a single recommendation in response to a query and then take a commission on a subsequent lead or sale. As of now, this approach does appear to be palatable, with 57% of regular voice users saying, “I don’t mind if [a local voice assistant] takes a commission from a purchase made by voice as long as the deal is good for me.” In this scenario, brands that are positively reviewed by journalists and other social influencers will improve their chances of being recommended by the VA. A third option gaining traction is “assistant optimization,” also known as “algorithm optimization.” Much as with search engine optimization (SEO), businesses will be able to affect the likelihood of the voice assistant recommending their brands through the structure of their digital content assets. In a voice-enabled world, ensuring your content is chosen by the assistant will become ever more critical. A KEY CHALLENGE IN A WORLD INTERMEDIATED BY VOICE ASSISTANTS WILL BE ENSURING YOUR BRAND OR CONTENT IS CHOSEN BY THE ASSISTANT. ALGORITHM OPTIMIZATION WILL BECOME THE NEW SEO. “Hypothetisches Gebilde” by Alicja Kwade, 2016, featured by 303 Gallery as part of Frieze London 2016. 30
  31. 31. JOIN THE INTERNET OF THINGS BRANDS SHOULD CONSIDER ADDING VOICE INTERACTIVITY AS AND WHEN THESE CAPABILITIES EXPAND TO NEW DEVICES. Voice technology is moving rapidly beyond mobile phones and smart speakers. Alexa has already been built into dozens of smart devices. Social robots around the world such as Olly, Jibo, RoBoHoN and Musio are an alternativetosmartspeakers.Voice-activated products such as the kids’ digital storybook The Snow Fox or the controversial My Friend Cayla doll offer a more interactive and enriching experience than their basic equivalents. Meanwhile, the number of commercial settings that integrate voice- activated services is growing. In hospitality, a team of robots at the Henn-na hotel in Japan checks in guests and offers concierge services, while the JW Marriott San Antonio in the United States is piloting the Echo Dot in its hotel rooms. The Dot will provide guests with information about restaurants, room service and directions. Brands need to think about how they can make their own physical assets voice- enabled, whether through the integration of a voice assistant like Alexa, or their own voice technology. For retailers, this could include embedding voice assistants in display units or changing rooms. We found that 52% of global smartphone users already want a voice assistant that can communicate with the store, for example to help them to navigate and to find products more easily. Connected packaging also presents an opportunity. Two thirds (67%) of global smartphone users agree with the statement “I like the idea of being able to ask my products questions about their provenance.” At CES 2017, we saw the launch of talking packaging in the form of Cambridge Consultants’ AudioPack concept for drugs and medical devices. Voice-controlled cooking appliance SmartyPans gives step-by-step instructions based on real-time feedback from weight and temperature sensors. 31
  32. 32. Media themselves are increasingly likely to become voice-enabled. Using voice, consumers will be able to engage as and when they want with services such as Instreamatic.AI, which is an interactive audio platform that allows advertisers to create voice-enabled audio ads. Audio is also being made searchable. Israeli company Audioburst records radio shows and transcribes soundbites called “bursts.” This content can then be tagged with keywords and discovered online and via Alexa. As the TV becomes voice-enabled (Alexa is now built into the latest Amazon Fire stick; Google Home allows users to play video on their TVs through Chromecast using voice command), viewers may also use their voice assistants to interact with TV advertisers. Sky has also recently integrated voice recognition into its remote. Deutsche Telekom and Orange are collaborating on a smart assistant called Djingo, which will allow people to use voice to control their Orange TVs throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa when it launches in 2018. As brands turn to voice, they will start to amass an audio dataset that will present opportunities to glean considerable insight via voice analytics. What can you learn about your customers from their tone of voice and how they talk to you? Can you apply sentiment analysis to the voice recordings to understand how customers feel? What’s more, brands that build their own voice-enabled products and content can position themselves outside the voice gatekeeper ecosystem and take one step closer to winning back control of consumer engagement. You have to be able to offer people something which makes it worth their while to actually interact with you… and those who are able to do that will actually do it well Joseph Evans, senior research analyst, Enders Analysis 32 The Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff showcases 40 separately recorded voices, each with its own speaker. Photo: Atsushi Nakamichi/Nacása Partners Inc. Courtesy of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, 2009
  33. 33. ARE YOU BEING SERVED? BRANDS THAT DEVELOP USEFUL CONTENT CAN MEANINGFULLY ENGAGE WITH THEIR CONSUMERS VIA A NEW CHANNEL. The question for brands should be: if tomorrow you had a seamless way to talk to your product … would that save the customer steps? Nir Eyal, bestselling author and lecturer at Stanford University There are two routes a brand can take when developing a one-to-one experience. One is to build a chatbot for a messaging platform such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Line or Kik. Brands should be thinking about the circumstances in which chatbots can be voice-enabled. It is possible to envisage successful text-based chatbots delivering an even more flexible experience for customers by adding voice capabilities. Already Microsoft’s Xiaoice, which has more than 40 million users in China and Japan, has launched as a voice-enabled chatbot on WeChat.21 The second route to consider is creating a skill, Conversation Action, or DingDong service.Whencontemplatingthisinvestment, brands must first decide what the software will accomplish. The characteristics of some of the early examples of successful skills for Alexa are rooted in their simplicity and ability to offer real value in a natural, straightforward way. A user who activates the BMW skill can ask Alexa about a scheduled trip, find out what time to leave, and send the destination to the vehicle. Amsterdam-based Triggi’s Alexa skill allows users to control Nest, Netatmo, Philips Hue and other smart devices, intending to “make smart things smarter.” Services that reduce friction in people’s lives are likely to appeal to the 52% of regular voice users globally who cite convenience as one of the main reasons for using voice technology. Ultimately, voice platforms must understand the needs of the user and deliver on these through a process that is simple and intuitive. Amazon made us boil down our original ideas to the simplest possible concept—which is what you’ve got to do when you’re designing for voice Michael Hill, founder and MD, Radioplayer 21. Jerry Salandra, “China, WeChat and the Origins of Chatbots,” Chatbots Magazine, March 12, 2017, bit.ly/2qTEQK9 Softserve is bringing voice technology to the workplace with the VoiceMyBot skill for Alexa, which allows users to stay in touch with their colleagues via the HipChat group chat tool. 33
  34. 34. FIND YOUR VOICE BRANDS CAN STRENGTHEN CONSUMER RELATIONSHIPS BY DEFINING THEIR (LITERAL) VOICES. Our neuroscience research gives an early indication that speaking to a brand delivers a deeper emotional connection than interacting with it through type or touch. When people asked a question involving a brand name, their brain activity showed a significantly stronger emotional response compared to people typing that same brand question (see Figure 7). The act of saying a brand name appears to strengthen the pre- existing emotional associations to a greater degree than typing it. This emphasizes the need for brands to craft the sound of their own voices. Companies will now need to think about the actual voice of their brand … They have to think about how their brand sounds, and the words and language that their brand uses when communicating with customers … the personality of their brand as it’s presented to users Martin Reddy, cofounder and chief technology officer, PullString Consumers are already looking for greater variety in voices. Just under three quarters (74%) of regular voice technology users globally believe brands should have unique voices and personalities for their apps or skills, and not just use the assistant on smartphones. Some of the early skill pioneers have started to use different voices to reflect the service they offer. The BBC News skill, for example, uses a pre-recorded presenter’s voice. Eighth Note, a voice-activated version of the smartphone game Flappy Bird, which originated in China, takes a different approach. The game character’s movement is controlled by the volume of the user’s voice, illustrating how the brand has considered the player’s voice rather than its own, to achieve engagement. Eighth Note has gone viral in Asia, where Chinese YouTube personality Jing Jing has accumulated 6.5 million views on a video of herself playing the game. The smart and energy-efficient Philips Hue lights can now be controlled by Siri via Apple HomeKit technology. 34
  35. 35. % In time, we will see more personality, beyond the sound and tone of the voice, once AI capabilities allow responses to be truly interactive and adaptable. 62 of regular voice technology users globally agree with the statement “I like the idea of being able to give my voice assistant a celebrity’s voice” Our research has shown that people have strong preconceived notions about what a brand should sound like—globally 62% of smartphone users say their voices and personalities should be unique. Hit the right notes and you can be music to your customers’ ears. A voice assistant would be like a friend, with a voice that’s male, like [Taiwanese singer, actor and racing driver] Jimmy Lin’s: friendly and gentle. This would be better than a calm, computerised voice Male 29-year-old focus group respondent, China Text Voice Radians 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0 0 0.32 0.64 Source: Neuro-Insight study Feb 2017; n = 102 UK smartphone users. Brain activity measured using SST headsets; unit of measurement is radians, which equates to positivity of brain response to specific* requests for brands Figure 7. EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO BRANDED QUESTIONS 35
  36. 36. SHORT-TERM BRAND IMPLICATIONS WHAT MARKETERS CAN DO TO PREPARE FOR A VOICE-ACTIVATED WORLD IN THE SHORT TERM Consider how voice could genuinely augment the touchpoints on your consumer journey. How could a voice interaction add value to or remove friction from the consumer experience? Identify your consumers’ Deciding Factors What are the cultural and technological sticking points in your market that must be handled carefully in order to launch your voice proposition successfully? Review whether your search activity is optimized for voice. Does your keyword strategy capitalize on the long tail of conversational search terms? 1 3 Experiment with voice-user interfaces. Test and learn, for example through an Alexa skill or a DingDong trial. Explore how you can provide utility to your customers or drive new behaviors. 4 5 Learn the rules of engagement in conversational commerce. Build a chatbot and deepen your exposure to the types of conversations consumers want to have. 2 36
  37. 37. LONG-TERM BRAND IMPLICATIONS WHAT MARKETERS CAN DO TO PREPARE FOR A VOICE-ACTIVATED WORLD IN THE MEDIUM TO LONG TERM Enhance your privacy credentials. Review and develop your personal data privacy policies to reflect local market concerns, as attitudes to privacy in relation to voice vary considerably by market. Position yourself as the brand to trust wherever you do business. See what you can learn from how customers talk to your brand. Try using voice-analytics software to detect how your customers really feel. 1 3 Forge strategic partnerships for voice integration. Work with retailers and service businesses to distribute your voice-activated products and services into their environments. 5 Re-evaluate your PR efforts. Getting your brands recommended by respected journalists and other thought leaders could be your best bet for staying relevant in the era of voice and the affiliate model. Use radio or interactive audio ads to develop your brand’s voice. What do people want to hear when they speak directly to your brand? 4 2 37
  38. 38. MARKET USAGE The L.U.C.Y. home assistant, which helps around the house, combines voice and facial recognition technology with a high-definition screen.
  39. 39. % % % With smart speakers yet to launch in Australia, most users’ experience of voice comes from customer service lines, search and Siri. In common with other technologies in Australia, voice has generated widespread interest, but it has seen slower adoption rates than in other Asia-Pacific markets. Launching in summer 2017, Google Home is likely to drive further adoption of voice in the Australian market. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Australia is yet to see the full array of voice services arrive in its market. The Google voice- search funtionality entered the market in 2009, followed by Siri. The market also includes some early adopters, who purchased Amazon Echo from overseas. MY GRANDMOTHER’S LINGO This voice-activated online game tells the story of Angela Joshua, a young Aboriginal woman seeking to preserve her indigenous language. To unlock chapters in Angela’s story, users have to repeat phrases in her endangered language. The game uses voice to educate Australians about threatened indigenous languages, breathing life into the culture and using voice as a storytelling tool. My Grandmother’s Lingo PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION In Australia, the utilization of voice-assistant technology is lower than the global average. Consideration of use is high, but there is currently a lack of awareness of the benefits: 36% don’t see the point of using voice technology, and 28% don’t expect it to be any quicker. Australia is polarised between a subset that is interested in technology, and a mainstream majority that lags in awareness and adoption of it. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I have used voice technology only once or twice I use voice technology at least once a month I use voice technology at least once a week Global Australia UTILIZATION OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN AUSTRALIA VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 54 63 51 AUSTRALIA VOICE PROFILE Google Now/Google Assistant I’m driving 35-54 REASONS AUSTRALIANS USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY 33 22 11 Siri It’s faster to use Google Search app Just for fun HIGH 39
  40. 40. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 55 60 Doing online searches Asking questions Finding information on a product in which I am interested Ask for directions Asking a fun question Making a call Reminding myself to buy a product I need or want Finding information on a brand or company Asking for the weather forecast Playing music Global Australia THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS IN AUSTRALIA VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS HIGHLIGHT THE VALUE Australians are more laissez-faire than other nationalities about privacy issues, so focus on communicating the value that your voice service brings, rather than its privacy credentials. RATIONAL FUNCTIONAL The Australian relationship with technology is very rational, so brands should look to communicate the utility that their voice services can offer. EMPHASIZE THE CONVENIENCE OF VOICE Australians know that other markets are more advanced than theirs in terms of the convenience of digital services, so show how voice can raise the bar. BRiN is a smartphone app that uses artifical intelligence to understand business problems and provide smart solutions. While BRiN can’t make decisions for us, it can steer us in the right direction and impact business decision making. In the future, apps like these may even act on our behalf. BRiN WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE FOR? All uses of voice technology by Australians are below the global average, which highlights the extent to which voice is still in its comparative %86OF REGULAR VOICE USERS LIKE THE IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO CHANGE THE GENDER OF THEIR VOICE ASSISTANT infancy. The main usage is online search (42%), but penetration is a lot lower than the global average. Many Australians are culturally resistant to over-reliance on technology. As a result, voice usage is mainly about BRiN basic features such as asking questions (41%) and asking for directions (35%). Lower utilization levels may reflect the fact that voice assistants are not attuned to the Australian accent, which can affect the accuracy of their responses.
  41. 41. % % % China currently has the highest number of voice technology services in the East. Chinese consumers are familiar with voice technology and enjoy its convenience benefits, particularly in contrast to typing Chinese phonetic characters. Local brands such as Xiaomi, Baidu and Xunfei have developed affordable and multifunctional voice-assistance services for the smart home. These services are highly aspirational for Chinese consumers with fast-paced lifestyles. Most strikingly, Chinese consumers show a particularly high inclination to attribute human-like qualities to their voice assistants. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice assistance technology has been available in China for almost a decade. Google voice- search functionality arrived in 2009, followed by Siri in 2011. Incomprehension of regional dialects and the complexity of the Mandarin language have resulted in voice technology not quite meeting the expectations of users—yet. The launch of LingLong DingDong in 2015, which claims better comprehension levels, could PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION Weekly use of voice technology in China is 31%, mirroring the global average. There also appears to be a strong appetite for voice, with only 4% saying they will never use it. This no doubt reflects the frustrations many Chinese consumers feel with typing Chinese phonetic characters, as evidenced in the widespread use of WeChat’s voice to text service. Of those considering using it in the future, 61% say they would be more inclined if personal data security were guaranteed. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 I use voice technology at least once a week I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I have only used voice technology once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global China UTILIZATION OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN CHINA VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 62 53 50 CHINA VOICE PROFILE 35-54 REASONS CHINESE USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Voice feature in search engine (e.g., Baidu) It’s simple to use Siri I don’t have to type Cortana It’s convenient 3 3 2 2 1 1 HIGH¥ I LIKE MY DUER SO MUCH THAT I WISH A REAL ROBOT INSTEAD OF JUST A VIRTUAL VOICE! I COULD HAVE Male 40-year-old focus group correspondent, China improve uptake. DingDong’s arrival, alongside Xiaoyu Zaihia/Little Fish, has made the voice landscape more diverse. TALKTYPE Baidu’s TalkType keyboard app prioritizes voice over typing when it comes to messaging. While the app still features a keyboard, the default option is to use your voice. This is the first keyboard app of its kind, illustrating the move towards a voice-first world. TalkType 41
  42. 42. THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS IN CHINA VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS MAKE IT HUMAN More than in any other market, Chinese consumers want their voice assistants to be “human.” Brands can stand out by developing unique, personable voice applications that take a proactive role in their users’ lives. IDENTIFY THE VOICE VALUE EXCHANGE Chinese consumers are willing to trade privacy and personal history for a more tailored service. Work out what value you can offer in exchange for voice data capture. USE VOICE TO AS AN ASPIRATIONAL SYMBOL Endorsed by many technology and home appliance brands, voice is accepted as part of the modern and smart lifestyle to which modern Chinese aspire. By building a sophisticated voice application, brands can signal their own modernity. WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE FOR? Compared to the global average, use of voice in China is higher across most activities. Investigating product information and online search are most used and are driven by the busy and fast-paced lifestyles of Chinese consumers. Voice usage is also important when it comes to leisure—it’s mainly used just for fun and for playing music. %96OF REGULAR VOICE USERS LIKE THE IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO CUSTOMIZE THEIR VOICE ASSISTANT’S PERSONALITY TO SUIT THEIR OWN VOICE 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 Doing online searches Making a call Playing audio books Asking questions Reminding myself to buy a product I need or want Finding information on a brand or company Finding information on a product in which I am interested Asking a fun question Asking for the weather forecast Playing music Global China LINGLONG DINGDONG The DingDong is China’s answer to the Amazon Echo—a cloud- based, voice-activated smart speaker that can play music, organize schedules, give directions and answer questions about the weather and news. Created by iFlytek and JD.com, the device comes in Mandarin and Cantonese variants, and can understand a range of Chinese accents and dialects. It understands an estimated 95% of the population. LingLong DingDong
  43. 43. % % % Despite being one of only two European markets in which the Amazon Echo is available, the German adoption of voice is slightly less enthusiastic than the global average. With a focus on using voice for efficiency and simplicity, and higher levels of skepticism and privacy concerns, German consumers are waiting for more appealing and reliable reasons to use before embracing voice wholeheartedly. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology arrived in Germany with Google voice- search functionality in 2009. Cortana and Amazon Alexa entered the market in 2016 and this year Djingo launched in April. The launch of Google Home and Allo have been announced for summer 2017. MYKIE Mykie is a smart speaker sous chef created by Stuttgart-based engineering and electronics company Bosch. Users can ask the desktop bot general questions about the weather and search for recipes using their voice. The device comes with a projector, allowing users to project recipes and cooking videos onto the walls of their kitchen to guide them. Mykie will also be able to connect to Bosch appliances in the future. While the device made an appearance at CES 2017, Bosch is still developing the product and no release date has officially been announced. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION While the proportion of people who have used voice ever is similar to the global average, Germany has fewer regular weekly users (23% vs. 31%). There is skepticism about voice technology, which is reflected in the fact that twice as many Germans think they will never use voice compared to the global average, and 39% of non-users say they don’t see the point of using it. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I have used voice technology only once or twice I use voice technology at least once a month I use voice technology at least once a week Global Germany UTILIZATION OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN GERMANY VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 45 63 51 GERMANY VOICE PROFILE 18-34 REASONS GERMANS USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Google Search app It’s faster to use Siri Just for fun 3 3 2 2 1 1 Google Now/Google Assistant/Cortana Feeling lazy HIGH€Mykie 43
  44. 44. THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS IN GERMANY VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS USE VOICE BEYOND THE SMARTPHONE Consumers frequently complain about the smartphone and how it has made people less sociable. Use voice to liberate people from their screens through voice activations in the physical world. KEEP THE PERSONALITY STRAIGHTFORWARD Germans don’t think adding personality to voice technology would offer any substantial value. Make utility your first priority. FOCUS ON EFFICIENCY Use voice to help consumers achieve a task more efficiently, as Germans primarily use voice technology when it simplifies things and makes life easier. L.U.C.Y. is a smart home assistant that incorporates voice-control technology with a camera and touchscreen display. These added features provide a wider service and usability than most other home assistants. The HD camera can even recognize faces and serve every family member according to their own preferences, illustrating the direction voice is heading with personalization. L.U.C.Y. WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE FOR? The main use of voice is online search (64%) and asking questions (63%). Both score a higher percentage in Germany than the global average as these are simple and more convenient tasks. Germans are also more likely to use voice technology to obtain the weather forecast (49%) and seek directions (45%). %82OF REGULAR VOICE USERS LIKE THE IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO ASK PRODUCTS ABOUT THEIR PROVENANCE 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 Doing online searches Asking questions Finding information on a product in which I am interested Ask for directions Asking a fun question Listen to the radio Find Recipes Finding information on a brand or company Asking for the weather forecast Playing music Global Germany L.U.C.Y.
  45. 45. % % % Japan’s adoption of voice technology is broadly on a par with other markets in the study. Without significant smart speaker presence, and with a strong social stigma around public use, most voice technology use has been via smartphones in private spaces. But with Japan’s heritage in robotics and anime idols, we can expect adoption of voice assistants to develop strongly in the near future. Google Home is launching in summer 2017 and Amazon Echo is rumored to be entering the Japanese market next. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology in Japan first appeared with the Google voice-search functionality in 2009. Subsequently, there were a number of local launches, including the Gatebox companion device in December 2016. Most mobile carriers, such as NTT Docomo, have their own voice propositions. In the future, Line will launch a system similar to Alexa, while Amazon plans to launch the Echo by the end of the year. Japan’s long-established culture of robotics has led to a number of humanoid or social robots with voice recognition, such as Pepper and Musio. MUSIO Designed by AKA Intelligence and powered by MUSE, Musio is an artificially intelligent social robot that understands and grows with its user. The device syncs with calendars to remind users of meetings. It controls connected devices and tells jokes, acting like a chatty friend. The anthropomorphization of voice devices is particularly interesting. As the technology advances, they become more like humans and eventually could foster stronger emotional relationships. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION The weekly use of voice assistant technology in Japan is just above the global average at 34%. Without significant smart speaker presence in the market, most usage is focused on the smartphone. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global Japan UTILIZATION OF VOICE ASSISTANT (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN JAPAN VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE)WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 51 59 62 JAPAN VOICE PROFILE 35-54 REASONS JAPANESE USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY I don’t have to type Google Search app It’s convenient Siri It’s faster than typing Google Now 3 3 2 2 1 1 MEDIUM¥ Musio 45
  46. 46. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 Doing online searches Find recipes Find information on a local business Asking a fun question Reminding myself to buy a product I need or want Ask for directions Finding information on a product in which I am interested Asking questions Asking for the weather forecast Find a local business Global Japan THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS IN JAPAN VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS GET PHYSICAL With the most advanced robotics industry in the world, Japan’s consumers are more comfortable talking to physical objects than consumers in any other country. Brands have a great opportunity in Japan to add a voice experience to the physical world—to their products, their retail outlets or to public spaces. DIAL UP THE PERSONALITY Anime culture, typified by the humanoid persona Hatsune Miku, has familiarized Japanese consumers with developing emotional attachments to virtual characters. Add a strong personality to a voice experience to tap into this cultural trend. KEEP IT PRIVATE Think how your voice innovations can add value in the home or in the car. In Japan, using voice on public transport or on the street is considered rude to fellow citizens. At Mobile World Congress 2017, Sony announced its latest artificially intelligent Xperia Ear earbud, which features its virtual assistant Agent. Users can receive social media updates, information about missed calls and calendar appointments. The earpiece answers questions and understands instructions to call contacts. The rise of hearables indicates a move away from the screen—consumers want to engage with the world about them and stay connected to technology without staring at their devices. XPERIA EAR WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE FOR? The main use of voice technology is online search (63%) and for finding information on a product of interest (55%). As in most markets, voice usage in Japan is driven by convenience. Using it to search or ask questions makes up the top three uses, %72OF REGULAR VOICE USERS SAY I WOULD FEEL TOO EMBARRASSED TO USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY IN PUBLIC athough this is lower than the global average. Asking for directions is considerably lower than the global average, perhaps reflecting the Japanese reluctance to use voice technology in public. Xperia Ear
  47. 47. % % % Singapore has the lowest level of voice adoption of the nine countries in our study. As a mainly English- speaking market, the development of voice has not been spurred on by the challenges of texting and typing, as in other Asian markets. A combination of heightened concerns over voice privacy, the lack of any of the main smart speakers, and no concerted push of voice search by Google has left the Singapore voice market still in its infancy. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology arrived in Singapore later than most markets. In 2011, Siri was the first voice service to be launched. Samsung S Voice followed the next year. However, without Amazon Echo or Google Home in Singapore, early adopters have had to import from the US. Google Assistant entered the market in the past month and the launch of Google Allo is scheduled for September this year. BUS UNCLE Bus Uncle is a bus arrival chatbot that lives on Facebook Messenger. Created by software engineer Abhilash Murthy, Bus Uncle is a human-like bot that provides witty responses alongside bus times. While it can only process text for now, it understands Singaporean creole, called Singlish, through natural language processing. In the future, Bus Uncle hopes to integrate voice into its offering to enhance the experience and deepen the connection with its users. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION At 17%, the weekly use of voice technology in Singapore is low in comparison to the global average. As most Singaporeans speak English, it is still relatively easy to text and type. Without the big voice players pushing their devices, awareness is comparatively low. However, consideration of use in the future is high, so Singaporeans are certainly open to the idea of voice technology. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global Singapore UTILIZATION OF VOICE ASSISTANT (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN SINGAPORE VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 70 53 52 SINGAPORE VOICE PROFILE 18-44 REASONS SINGAPOREANS USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Siri Just for fun Samsung S Voice I’m in a rush Google Search app I’m feeling lazy 3 3 2 2 1 1 HIGH Bus Uncle 47
  48. 48. THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS IN SINGAPORE VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS KEEP IT SIMPLE Singaporean consumers are typically cautious and practical. With the voice market at an early stage in its development, keep early voice innovations simple and focused. OPTIMISE FOR VOICE SEARCH As search is one of the main tasks achieved with voice in Singapore, focus on how search investment can be optimized for growing utilization. PRIVACY PARTICULARLY MATTERS Consumers in Singapore are more privacy conscious than in any other Asian market. Reassuring voice users about how their data is being used is particularly important in Singapore. WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE FOR? Usage in Singapore is below the global average in many cases, reflecting the early stage of market development. The most popular use is for looking for information on a product of interest (52%) and for asking fun questions (46%). Using it for fun is an indicator that voice technology is remains something of a novelty in Singapore. OF REGULAR VOICE USERS SAY I AM WORRIED ABOUT COMPANIES LISTENING TO THE CONVERSATIONS I HAVE WITH MY VOICE ASSISTANT %65 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 55 60 Listening to the radio Finding information on a brand or company Reminding myself to buy a product I need or want Playing music Asking for directions Asking questions Making a call Finding information on a product in which I am interested Asking a fun question Doing online searches Global Singapore
  49. 49. % % % Despite the biggest available voice services in Spain working better in English than Spanish, voice technology has been embraced strongly in the country. The Spanish love of convenience, coupled to a relatively lax attitude regarding online privacy, has driven adoption. Much of voice use occurs out of the home and is focused on search, functional tasks and information seeking, rather than on fun or shopping. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology in Spain has been around since the launch of Google voice-search functionality back in March 2009. It was followed by Siri in October 2011. Spain then saw the launch of voice assistant applications such as the Google Assistant and Google Allo in May 2017, and local examples such as Sherpa. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION The weekly use of voice technology among smartphone users in Spain is 32%, just above the global average. In Spain, 43% of people say there is a need for more information on how voice assistants work. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global Spain UTILIZATION OF VOICE ASSISTANT (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN SPAIN VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USER DEMOGRAPHICS 45 56 42 SPAIN VOICE PROFILE 18-34REASONS SPANISH USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Google Search app It’s convenient Google Now/ Google Assistant It’s faster than typing Siri/Cortana I don’t have to type 3 3 2 2 1 1 HIGH€ SHERPA Bilbao-based Sherpa is a voice- activated personal assistant app for Android that is popular in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. The latest version focuses on personalization and learns from the user’s preferences and habits. Artificial Intelligence algorithms predict the kind of information users might want, ranging from the scores of favorite sports teams to reminders to take an umbrella when rain is forecast. Sherpa % % % Despite the biggest available voice services in Spain working better in English than Spanish, voice technology has been embraced strongly in the country. The Spanish love of convenience, coupled to a relatively lax attitude regarding online privacy, has driven adoption. Much of voice use occurs out of the home and is focused on search, functional tasks and information seeking, rather than on fun or shopping. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology in Spain has been around since the launch of Google voice-search functionality back in March 2009. It was followed by Siri in October 2011. Spain then saw the launch of voice assistant applications such as the Google Assistant and Google Allo in May 2017, and local examples such as Sherpa. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION The weekly use of voice technology among smartphone users in Spain is 32%, just above the global average. In Spain, 43% of people say there is a need for more information on how voice assistants work. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global Spain UTILIZATION OF VOICE ASSISTANT (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN SPAIN VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USER DEMOGRAPHICS 45 56 42 SPAIN VOICE PROFILE 18-34REASONS SPANISH USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Google Search app It’s convenient Google Now/ Google Assistant It’s faster than typing Siri/Cortana I don’t have to type 3 3 2 2 1 1 HIGH€ SHERPA Bilbao-based Sherpa is a voice- activated personal assistant app for Android that is popular in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. The latest version focuses on personalization and learns from the user’s preferences and habits. Artificial Intelligence algorithms predict the kind of information users might want, ranging from the scores of favorite sports teams to reminders to take an umbrella when rain is forecast. Sherpa % % % Despite the biggest available voice services in Spain working better in English than Spanish, voice technology has been embraced strongly in the country. The Spanish love of convenience, coupled to a relatively lax attitude regarding online privacy, has driven adoption. Much of voice use occurs out of the home and is focused on search, functional tasks and information seeking, rather than on fun or shopping. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology in Spain has been around since the launch of Google voice-search functionality back in March 2009. It was followed by Siri in October 2011. Spain then saw the launch of voice assistant applications such as the Google Assistant and Google Allo in May 2017, and local examples such as Sherpa. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION The weekly use of voice technology among smartphone users in Spain is 32%, just above the global average. In Spain, 43% of people say there is a need for more information on how voice assistants work. 50% 1510 20 3025 35 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global Spain UTILIZATION OF VOICE ASSISTANT (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN SPAIN VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USER DEMOGRAPHICS 45 56 42 SPAIN VOICE PROFILE 18-34REASONS SPANISH USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Google Search app It’s convenient Google Now/ Google Assistant It’s faster than typing Siri/Cortana I don’t have to type 3 3 2 2 1 1 HIGH€ SHERPA Bilbao-based Sherpa is a voice- activated personal assistant app for Android that is popular in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. The latest version focuses on personalization and learns from the user’s preferences and habits. Artificial Intelligence algorithms predict the kind of information users might want, ranging from the scores of favorite sports teams to reminders to take an umbrella when rain is forecast. Sherpa 49
  50. 50. THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS IN SPAIN VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS PLAY ON THE CONVENIENCE Spanish consumers love the convenience that voice offers, so think about how voice can be used to remove friction from the consumer journey. MAKE IT PHYSICAL Voice use is stronger outside the home and Spanish consumers love shopping days out. How can voice enhance the retail experience in the physical world? MAKE THE VALUE EXPLICIT Of all Western consumers, the Spanish are most concerned about companies or governments snooping their communications. In developing a voice service, make the value exchange clear and transparent to ensure Spanish consumers are aware of the benefits of sharing information. WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE ASSISTANT FOR? The main usage is for online search (68%) and for asking questions (60%), both of which scored higher in Spain than the global average. For Spanish consumers, shopping is an event, a day out with friends. Consequently, ecommerce is relatively underdeveloped, so using voice for shopping is currently unlikely. However, using voice to find information on brands and companies is higher than the global average. %51OF REGULAR VOICE TECH USERS IN SPAIN USE VOICE WHILE WALKING DOWN THE STREET (COMPARED TO A GLOBAL AVERAGE OF 31%) 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 Doing online searches Making a call Asking for the weather forecast Asking questions Playing music Finding information on a brand or company Finding information on a product in which I am interested Asking a fun question Look up a song playing on the radio Find recipes Global Spain TRIBY Triby Family is a voice-activated smart speaker with a built-in Alexa voice service. To ensure it picks up voice commands even when music is playing, the device has several microphones and In Vivo Acoustic Technology’s noise cancellation. Although voice activation does not currently function in Spain, the popularity of the speaker in this market points to a potential avenue for early adoption of Alexa when it goes on sale. Triby
  51. 51. % % % Smartphone users in Thailand have embraced voice technology more than in any other Asian market. Among a young, urban and aspirational audience, voice technology is seen as cutting edge and desirable. While use has naturally focused on the smartphone and digital assistants, voice technology has also been adopted in many other product sectors. It has become a cultural phenomenon, with consumers creating viral videos of voice interactions and brands using it in their marketing. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology arrived in Thailand with the launch of Siri in 2011, followed by Cortana in 2015. During 2016, a number of voice-focused apps were launched, such as Qooco Talk, an educational tool. Although smart speakers are yet to launch in Thailand, voice control has been integrated into a range of consumer electronics products from televisions to air-conditioning units. Voice biometric identification has also recently been introduced by Citibank. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION At 51%, weekly use of voice technology amongst smartphone users in Thailand is above the global average. This reflects the early- adopter nature of smartphone users in Thailand in comparison to more mature mobile markets in the West. They are typically young, urban and aspirational. In general, Thai smartphone users are 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 5550 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global Thailand UTILIZATION OF VOICE ASSISTANT (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN THAILAND VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 53 56 49 THAILAND VOICE PROFILE 18-34 REASONS THAIS USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Google Search app It’s convenient Siri I don’t have to type Google Now It’s faster than typing 3 3 2 2 1 1 LOW very enthusiastic about voice and only 5% say they think that they will never use it. 51
  52. 52. THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS, THAILAND AND GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS Qooco GET PHYSICAL Thais have embraced voice technology in all its guises, which gives brands a great opportunity in Thailand to add a voice experience to all aspects of the physical world. KEEP COOL Voice is a highly aspirational technology among young urban Thais. Innovative marketers can appropriate some of the cool factor for their brands with a cutting-edge voice application. HAVE FUN Voice interaction has entered the cultural vernacular among young Thais. Think how your brand could tap into this. Qooco is a language app that helps Thais improve their foreign language skills. Cirrus Ltd, the company that built the app, noticed the limited opportunities Thais have to practise foreign languages in Thailand. Through speech recognition, the app identifies words and analyzes users’ pronunciation. QOOCO WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE FOR? In Thailand, the leading voice technology usages are for finding information on products of interest (70%) and for online searches %42 (VERSUS THE GLOBAL AVERAGE OF 26%) 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 Doing online searches Finding information on a brand or company Check travel information Look up a song playing on the radio Ask for directions Finding information on a product in which I am interested Asking a fun question Asking questions Find recipes Making a call Global Thailand IT’S COOL OF REGULAR VOICE USERS SAY THEY USE VOICE COMMANDS BECAUSE (64%). Voice technology is also used for fun, as Thai consumers want to see how it answers local questions. This has become a cultural feature, with spoof videos of people using voice commands.
  53. 53. % % % Although it was one of the first markets in which Amazon Echo and Google Home launched, the adoption of voice technology in the United Kingdom has not been as strong as in other markets. Certain uses, such as shopping, are more developed, reflecting UK consumers’ strong appetite for ecommerce, but in general, British consumers are adopting a wait-and-see approach to voice tech. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology has been a feature of the UK market for some years following the arrival of Google voice-search functionality in 2010 and Siri in 2011. Comparatively limited speech-recognition capabilities resulted in slow initial growth. In the past 12 months, the sector has seen considerable consumer interest with the launch of Amazon Echo in September 2016, Google Home in April 2017 and the integration of voice search into SkyQ. Britain’s technology industry has produced a number of sophisticated voice-activated products, such as social robot Olly and AI leader DeepMind. OLLY General-purpose social robots such as Olly are an alternative to smart speakers. By developing a different personality for each user, Olly aims to be more personal than other voice assistants. The desktop bot plays music, syncs with other connected devices and offers advice in a similar way to a friend. The start-up behind the product, London-based Emotech, unveiled the desktop bot at CES 2017 and it is expected to go on sale later this year. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION While penetration of voice technology in the UK is comparable to the global average, a smaller proportion of smartphone users have adopted voice into their routines on a regular basis. Of those who are yet to try voice technology, 46% cite guarantees around personal data security and 42% say more information about what voice 50% 1510 20 3025 35 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global UK UTILIZATION OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN UK VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE)WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 53 60 48 UK VOICE PROFILE It’s convenient It’s simple to use It’s faster than typing Siri Google Now Google Voice Search 3 3 2 2 1 1 18-34 MEDIUM TOP THREE REASONS BRITS USE VOICE assistants can do are factors that would influence their adoption of the technology. %60OF SMARTPHONE USERS FEEL THAT IF VOICE ASSISTANTS COULD UNDERSTAND ME PROPERLY AND SPEAK BACK TO ME AS WELL AS A HUMAN CAN, I’D USE THEM ALL THE TIME Olly 53
  54. 54. 100% 3020 40 6050 70 Doing online searches Asking questions Global UK Asking a fun question Playing music Asking for the weather forecast Ask for directions Finding information on a brand or company Making a call Finding information on a product in which I am interested Find a local business THE TASKS AT HAND—USAGE OF VOICE TECHNOLOGY (% OF REGULAR VOICE USERS IN UK VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) LOCAL BRAND TAKEAWAYS AIM FOR INTEGRATION In this well-developed technology market, users of voice are looking for greater integration across platforms, devices and contexts. MAKE IT SMART Some users are underwhelmed by the current sophistication of voice assistants and feel that the promise of voice has been oversold. CONSIDER NEW CONSUMER GROUPS Voice users are starting to co-opt new behaviours into their daily routines as voice technology matures and enables tasks to be performed more easily. The Snow Fox is a children’s story app developed by digital agency AKQA. Moving from scene to scene as the child reads aloud, it progresses at the pace of each reader. The tale is personalized to the child, allowing them to input their name and gender. By using voice technology, The Snow Fox offers a more interactive and enriching experience, illustrating the impact voice can have on storytelling. THE SNOW FOX WHAT DO PEOPLE USE VOICE FOR? United Kingdom voice users are typically more likely than the global average to have carried out almost all of the voice usages. In particular, shopping is strong, reflecting Amazon’s voice presence in the UK market. Other strong performers are playing music, due perhaps to the more prevalent use of streaming services, and asking about the weather, which is almost certainly due to Britons’ obsession with their country’s changeable climate. NORMALLY, WHILE I TRY TO MUSTER THE ENERGY TO GET OUT OF BED, I GET ALEXA TO READ ME MY FLASH BRIEFING. I DON’T HAVE A TV AND DON’T REALLY USE NEWSPAPERS, SO BEING ABLE TO LIE THERE AND SLOWLY CATCH UP ON THE NEWS IN THE MORNING IS PERFECT FOR ME UK online respondent The Snow Fox
  55. 55. % % % % As the home of the tech giants, the United States is the most developed voice market in terms of both utilization and the prevalence of different forms of voice technology. Cultural factors, such as enthusiasm for tech innovation, a pervasive driving culture and long working hours, make voice services particularly attractive to American consumers. THE VOICE LANDSCAPE Voice technology arrived in the United States in March 2009, when Google Voice Search launched. Siri followed in October 2011. Since then, the market has seen various new launches, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home and, most recently, Apple’s HomePod. In the first five months of 2017, six new voice assistants launched in the United States. With 49% of all smartphone users using voice on a weekly basis, United States consumers’ use of the technology is the highest among all Western markets. The importance of the car in the US has spurred adoption of voice technology as 65% of regular voice users report using voice while driving, the highest of all our surveyed markets. Privacy concerns are high in the United States because their laws are very relaxed. Consequently, of all the US consumers who currently don’t use voice technology, 48% say they need guarantees that their voice technology data will not be used for anything else before they will consider using the technology in the future. ARISTOTLE In partnership with Microsoft and Qualcomm, Mattel launched Aristotle, a Cortana-equipped smart speaker designed for children. Capable of understanding toddlers, children and adults, the speaker doubles as a smart baby monitor, soothing a child back to sleep with a lullaby and logging their sleeping patterns. The device can also inform parents if a baby is awake via smartphone notifications, as well as automatically reorder diapers when they run out. PREFERRED PLATFORMS UTILIZATION 50% 1510 20 3025 35 40 45 50 I use voice technology at least once a week I use voice technology at least once a month I have used voice technology only once or twice I haven’t used voice technology, but will consider using it in the future I haven’t used voice technology and I will never use it Global United States UTILIZATION OF VOICE ASSISTANT (% OF SMARTPHONE USERS IN US VS. GLOBAL AVERAGE) WEEKLY VOICE USERS DEMOGRAPHICS 41 62 82 41 US VOICE PROFILE 18-34 REASONS AMERICANS USE VOICE TECHNOLOGY Siri It’s simple to use Google Search app It’s convenient Google Now/Google Assistant It’s faster than typing 3 3 2 2 1 1 MEDIUM/ HIGH MEDIUM $ Aristotle 55

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