In­dian con­sumers say hello to VOICE-BASED DE­VICES

Millennium Post - - Mp Around Town -

Hey Alexa! Please play ‘Bhaja Govin­dam’ by M S Sub­bu­lak­shmi, goes the com­mand ev­ery morn­ing at my home and Alexa takes no time in oblig­ing, play­ing the song by the leg­endary Car­natic vo­cal­ist as break­fast be­gins to roll.

This has be­come a rou­tine at mil

lions of In­dian homes, in­di­cat­ing a clear trend about voice be­com­ing the next con­ver­sa­tional plat­form be­tween peo­ple and de­vices.

As we head to­ward a world where data-driven ma­chine in­tel­li­gence pow­ers con­ver­sa­tions be­tween brands and con­sumers, In­dian con­sumers are now ready for this, fre­quently us­ing smart­phones to in­ter­act with brands and co­or­di­nate tasks.

Ac­cord­ing to For­rester, mo­bile pen­e­tra­tion has al­lowed rapid, leapfrog­ging ac­cel­er­a­tion among metropoli­tan In­dian on­line adults in the up­take of wear­able de­vices and other smart tech­nol­ogy.

Nearly 54 per cent In­di­ans now use at least one wear­able de­vice. The smart home is at a sim­i­lar turn­ing point: 30 per cent use a smart TV, 16 per cent use a voice as­sis­tant speaker and 36 per cent use smart home de­vices like In­ter­net-con­nected ther­mostats or home au­dio sys­tems.

Ac­cord­ing to Meenakshi Ti­wari, Fore­cast An­a­lyst at For­rester, most of the dig­i­tal con­sumers in In­dia to­day are mo­bile con­sumers, do­ing multi-task­ing on the go. “Voice has much big­ger role to play in the cir­cum­stance, which is fur­ther ver­i­fied by the fact that 28 per cent of search queries in In­dia are done by voice, and Hindi voice search

queries are grow­ing at over 400 per cent year on year,” she said.

“Smart speaker will also play crit­i­cal in this di­rec­tion which is ev­i­dent from their in­creas­ing ship­ment and time spent by con­sumer on it,” Ti­wai added.

Ac­cord­ing to mar­ket re­search firm In­ter­na­tional Data Corp (IDC), the smart speak­ers’ cat­e­gory in In­dia, led by Ama­zon, grew 43 per cent in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018.

“I per­son­ally be­lieve that voice as a plat­form is go­ing to lead next wave of con­tent searches, so­cial con­ser­va­tion, and even­tu­ally, it will also be­come the medium of com­merce, said Jaipal Singh, Se­nior An­a­lyst, IDC In­dia.

We al­ready have voice-en­abled de­vices which help us set rou­tines, au­to­mate home ap­pli­ances and pro­vide on-de­mand in­for­ma­tion.

“In terms of de­vices in­stall base in 2018, it has sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved as ven­dors have shipped a set of new de­vices rang­ing from mo­bile phones, ear pods, TVS and smart speak­ers with voice as­sis­tants fea­ture en­abled on them,” Singh said.

This nov­elty fea­ture is re­ally at­tract­ing a wide seg­ment of users and ob­vi­ously, mil­len­ni­als and Gen Z are lead­ing the adop­tion as they are more com­fort­able to ex­per­i­ment with new tech­nol­ogy.

Ac­cord­ing to Singh, smart speak­ers are very pop­u­lar among the kids who mostly use those for ed­u­ca­tional con­tent, lis­ten­ing mytho­log­i­cal sto­ries quizzing and play­ing games.

There are still con­cerns on users spend­ing time with voice as­sis­tants as it is yet to get the de­sired trac­tion in In­dia. How­ever, re­fined use cases with

lo­calised ex­pe­ri­ences are ex­pected to

lead the de­sired growth of voice-based de­vices in the com­ing years.

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