Story image

Virtual digital assistants to overtake world population by 2021

23 May 17

According to a recent study from Ovum, by 2021 the native digital assistant installed base will exceed 7.5 billion active devices - more than the current world population.

Google Assistant will dominate the voice AI–capable device market with 23.3 percent market share, followed by Samsung's Bixby (14.5 percent), Apple's Siri (13.1 percent), Amazon's Alexa (3.9 percent), and Microsoft's Cortana (2.3 percent).

In terms of devices, Ovum’s report asserts smartphones and tablets clearly lead the market with 3.5 billion active devices in 2016, the majority of which use Google Now and Apple Siri.

However, the use of AI in conjunction with other devices greatly increases consumer engagement and is set to unlock new opportunities, particularly in the home.

Ovum expects huge growth of voice AI capabilities among new devices, including wearable, smart home and TV devices, with a combined installed base of 1.63 billion active devices in 2021, representing a tenfold increase on 2016.

The report also asserts despite all the hype surrounding AI-capable connected speakers, TV devices (e.g. smart TVs, set-top boxes and media streamers) offer a larger opportunity, accounting for 57 percent that installed base in 2021.

Practice leader for Ovum’s Consumer Technology team and author of the report, Ronan de Renesse says the channel will be crucial in the coming years.

"Ultimately, a digital assistant is just another user interface. It will only be as good as the ecosystem of devices and services that it is compatible with, says de Renesse.

“Partnerships between tech giants and local service providers will therefore be key differentiators.”

Ovum says while most of the AI capabilities will reside on the network rather than in the device, native vendor-led implementations will be critical to gather the contextual and personal data that will feed that AI engines.

However, Ovum affirms the most important challenge for vendors will be to deploy and maintain their digital assistants globally.

At the end of 2016, almost all of the installed base for Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant was in North America, compared to 24 percent for Apple's Siri. This is an important point, as Ovum says by 2021 47.6 percent of voice AI–capable devices in use will be in Asia & Oceania.

"There is a disconnect between the 'know-it-all, do-it-all' approach that current digital assistants are aiming toward and the highly personalised virtual assistance experience that consumers have dreams/nightmares about.”

“Whoever can bring personal consumer data in a secure, non-creepy way to digital assistance will be able to bridge that gap and capture most of the opportunity,” de Renesse concludes.

JASK prepares for global rollout of their AI-powered ASOC platform
The JASK ASOC platform automates alert investigations, supposedly freeing the SOC analyst to do what machines can’t. 
Cisco dominates record-high Ethernet switch & router markets
While the market is flourishing, it’s tough-going as Cisco has increased its majority share of the pie.
SAP provides partners with free access to their cloud platform
“Now that over 3,700 SAP partners have joined our cloud strategy, the free resources will help them accelerate application development."
Gartner names Proofpoint Leader in enterprise information archiving
The report provides a detailed overview of the enterprise information archiving market and evaluates vendors based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.
WatchGuard appoints new channel distributors in A/NZ
The appointments will enable WatchGuard to expand its regional channel reseller footprint.
Tensions on the rise after Huawei CFO arrest
“Recently our corporate CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was provisionally detained by the Canadian authorities on behalf of the United States of America."
Why the future of IT infrastructure is always on and always available
As more organisations embrace digital business, infrastructure and operations leaders will need to evolve their strategies and skills to keep up.
Juniper simplifies data integration to improve threat detection
Updates to the Juniper Advanced Threat Prevention Appliances leverage third-party firewalls and security data sources.