2018 will see Conversational Interface emerge as a winner. It is also likely that we will also see one winner push and take everyone by surprise, leaving everyone else with very less market share.
Amazon is storming in the smart home speaker domain with almost 70% allotment. Alexa has become much more than just a part of Echo. Amazon is rolling out developer integration points to embed Alexa in almost any invention. Having constituted a very ‘social’ decision — one that encourages you to get an Echo for your house and countenance too (and hey, they are on sale right before Christmas!), they are expanding the reach of Alexa by targeting the less ‘tech savvy’ and further expanding the market.
Google is going strong and steady, their technology is match if not better. They are also adding tools and integrations for developers just as fast. While we have seen that Amazon rules the home smart speaker market, Google owns the smartphone voice assistant market with almost 50% share. But the use of voice assistants on smartphones is not very successful as compared to home devices. Somehow the idea of talking to a voice assistant in public is not the most comfortable thing while with home devices being at home has got the upper hand.
Apple came early to this competition with Siri. It seems that it was too early and with a technology that disappointed the users. Although they have made many corrections and improvisations but they are still far behind.
Microsoft is making sure that Cortana is in most windows devices which makes up for a large share of the personal computer space. They have played it smartly by forming a partnership with Amazon so that Cortana and Alexa can communicate. This will be helpful for businesses where Windows machines are used. Being able to communicate with Alexa from your computer will be enough for users to try it out and get comfortable enough with it. It may or may not dominate but it will surely survive.
It is highly unlikely that anyone else will take the winning spot this year. It’s also probably no surprise that “55% of teens use voice search on their smartphones daily“, and that there is an expected growth as capabilities evolve, as found in a study by Northstar Research commissioned by Google.