Then came the coronavirus.
All these predictions are now going to fall into oblivion, and new facts and stats will be relevant. Nothing’s going to be the same for the world and for technology.
When it comes to voice search, we can expect new trends to appear in a few months. For now, everyone’s in lockdown.
Read on to find out how the rest of 2020 will be like, and what you can expect during the decade!
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It All Depends on How Long This Will Last
It’s really hard to assume when things are going to get back to normal, but they will. At the moment, all production around the world is put on hold or reduced.
For example, the factory where one of the most popular smart speakers was made, Alexa’s Echo, was working with only 50% capacity at the beginning of March. The plant returned to normal at the end of the month, but the demand can’t be met any time soon.
It’s pretty much the same with all the other tech companies connected with the voice search industry. In China, factories are going back to normal, but everything’s closed in Europe and the same is about to happen in the States. The world is almost completely shut down.
Long story short, no one can talk about facts until the crisis ends. What will happen after it is another topic?
Building Smart-Homes Will Be in Demand
One of the trends that will undoubtedly continue is the production of smart speakers. Amazon, as we mentioned, holds the majority of the market in the States, and alongside it in the battle for dominance are Google, Microsoft, and Apple. In short, the four companies are now considered trillion-dollar businesses.
This trend will become more significant later in 2020 and the second half of the following decade. Why? Because at the moment, all employees who can stay at home and work are doing so. The companies are shutting down their offices and letting people work from home as much as possible.
That said, it’s clear that people will turn their homes into offices. Even years ago, predictions claimed that in the near future, half of the population would work remotely. Now, we’re forced into it. That means voice search via smart speakers will see an enormous rise.
People’s Behavior Is Changed, and Voice Search Is a Part of It
The past numbers behind the voice search trends suggest that demand for this technology is constantly rising. It has been so since its implementation in smartphones and other devices. According to voice search statistics, currently around 66.4 million Americans own a smart speaker, contributing to about 20% of all search engine queries in the world. They say that this year, this number is going to be around 30%
We say that this number will surely surpass 30%. Most of these smart speakers are installed in living rooms. Half of them, to be exact. The rest are installed in bedrooms and kitchens that share an equal 25%.
As we already mentioned, people are now living and working at home. That means they don’t need to use the search bar on their laptop while they are working—they can say the magic words, “Hey Alexa, make me a sandwich, will you?”
What? Too soon? AI is still not developed enough? Let’s wait a few years and see.
Artificial Intelligence Will Soon Become Too Powerful
The main driving force behind voice search technology is artificial intelligence. At the moment, almost all industries use AI to some extent. In the future, this is going to change, and all of them will use it as much as possible.
When it comes to voice search and the assistants following users’ instructions, AI is the feature that does all the work. After the crisis, you can expect companies to do even more research on this technology. You’ll see a ton of money coming from investors for AI development companies.
So far, we’ve had multimillion investments in AI. For example, in 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in a San Francisco company called OpenAI.
On the other hand, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, in 2015, warned about the outbreak of a new virus that the planet is not ready for. At the same, he said he was worried about the rise of AI. Four years later, the company he created invested a lot of money in AI.
We’re not drawing conclusions, you are!
The Number of Driving Direction Searches Will Drop
One of the most common uses of a voice search on smartphones is asking the assistant for directions. For example, while someone’s driving, they use the assistant to tell them where they need to go to find the location.
According to sources that we used previously, we can see that more than half of the voice searches are done while driving. Another 40% of them are asking for directions.
Now, with the new turn of events, these things are going to change undoubtedly. One thing is that people are not out on the streets anymore, but they are staying home. That means they don’t need to ask for directions.
Another crucial thing for the future is the AI we talked about. The predictions are that in this decade, we will see completely autonomous vehicles. Corporations are investing billions of dollars in this technology.
In 2017, Ford invested $1 billion in Argo AI. The company plans to make completely autonomous vehicles by 2021. With the current state of affairs, it seems like this is inevitable rather than useful.
Uber, the company we best know as a peer-to-peer transportation service, is teamed up with Daimler and Volvo to create a completely autonomous vehicle. All this means that very soon, we’ll see cars driving by themselves and cab rides where no driver is in the vehicle. By the end of the decade, personal cars will also be almost or entirely autonomous, which means the passengers will have more time doing the search on their own.
These troubled times are not going to pass soon, and everything will certainly change. Some things for good and others will become worse. However, the voice search industry will come out stronger as a result. People’s needs are going to align with the inventions, and they’ll surely demand more smart speakers and better voice search assistants on smartphones.
The industry always responds to the needs of consumers. This is why we can expect new trends to be like the ones we described above.
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