While three quarters (74%) of Americans express familiarity with voice assistants for the home, a majority (52%) don’t care at all whether they can speak to their electronic devices, while less than one tenth (8%) considered it completely important.

Consumers 25-34 years of age and 35-44 years old were the most likely to consider it very or completely important (57%) that they be able to speak with their devices.

Even among those who aren’t familiar, consumer commentary indicates awareness:

  • “I am not very familiar with voice assistants for the home. I have just heard the names of Amazon Echo and Google Home.”
  • “I’m aware of them, my TV is Alexa enabled, but I have no real use for it as I don’t have any other kind of home automation.”
  • “I haven’t used it myself but some of my friends had one. They ask them to play a certain music and it would. It was nice.”
  • “I know they exist but I don’t need something like it. I don’t fully see the benefit outweighing the cost.”

Consumers expressed the most concern about security and reliability when asked their preference regarding communicating with electronic devices.

  • “If I can do it, anyone in my house can do it and charge me for the use, so I would say it is more important for me to not use it.”
  • “It is not important to be able to speak to my electronics devices. I don’t need this feature and often this feature does not work well.”
  • “Not important at all. When I speak to them, it’s to tell them not to fail, such as when Comcast connections don’t go through and I’m annoyed.”

Those more familiar with the technology had something to say as well:

  • “It’s good for helping with ordering food, helping elderly people who need emergency services, and great for keeping small children entertained while their parents are preoccupied.”
  • “Quite familiar as I have used Google Home on numerous occasions at someone else’s place of residence to play Luke Bryan.”
  • “We have a Google Home. I mostly just listen to music on YouTube. I do use it for an alarm clock and also the weather forecast.”

When queried about the chances that they would purchase a voice assistant for a car, nearly six out of ten (58%) replied that it was not at all likely, while only one out of six (16%) were very or completely likely to purchase. Consumers aged 25 to 44 years of age expressed the most certainty in a future purchase of a car voice assistant, with a majority (57%) very or completely likely.

Interestingly, women aged 35 to 44 are less certain with the likelihood of a future with a voice assistant (14% very or completely likely to purchase vs. 35% of men), even though they had a closer level of certainty aged 25 to 34 (women, 30%, vs. men, 36%).

Most consumers, when asked for reasons influencing the likelihood of purchasing a voice assistant for a car cited reasons such as compatibility, usefulness and ease-of-use:

  • “Probably not – if the car comes with it, then I would probably use it. But I don’t see myself retro-fitting one into a car. My experience with Bluetooth in cars has been very poor.”
  • “Never; it would be a distraction that would significantly increase my likelihood of dying in a gruesome car accident.”
  • “Yeah, right. I have a 1993 Ford Explorer. It has a tape player. Doesn’t work, but it has one. How is that going to work with a voice assistant? Not a chance, nor do I want one.”

Whether we ourselves personally talk to them, yell at them, or ignore them, voice assistants are as ubiquitous as the devices they are connected and will become a central part of most consumers’ lives in the future.

This online survey had 1,000 respondents. It was fielded from June 18 to 19, 2019. For more, please check out the slides below and the general methodology.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.