The rise in artificial intelligence (AI) digital assistants coming from the likes of heavyweight smartphone vendors Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung Electronics will lead to more than 4 billion consumer devices being installed this year, according to a new report from market research firm IHS Markit.
That growth will continue for the next three years reaching a forecasted 7 billion digital assistants by 2020 driven the installed base of smartphones with Google Assistant being ported to all Android phones, Samsung launching its Bixby platform and Apple’s already installed Siri.
While mobile will account for the largest share of devices, voice as a user interface are also becoming important in the home through smart speakers, set top boxes, smart TVs and streaming media devices, IHS Markit says.
This growth in AI assistants is leading to a number of new companies looking to launch their own digital assistants or partner with existing services to grab a piece of the pie, IHS Markit says. This includes the smart home where Amazon has led the way with its Alexa-enabled voice-activated devices. After Amazon’s launch, more than 105 companies have smart home devices equating to a total available market of 65 million devices in 2017 that are controllable through a voice assistant.
“Voice control is crucial in the smart home environment,” says Blake Kozak, principal analyst at IHS Markit. “Controlling the smart home is no longer limited to one phone or tablet that sits behind a passcode, allowing friends and family to interact with the smart home to create an engaging and unique experience.”
While Amazon has dominated the market for voice assistants and will continue to do so in the short-term future, third-party hardware momentum is now building behind the Google Home and new products will begin to debut in the fourth quarter of this year and many more in 2018, possibly at next year’s CES tradeshow, IHS Markit says.
“With the category accelerating in competitive velocity and price aggression, smart speakers stand alongside smartphones as a key platform driving digital assistant penetration within the greater ecosystem battle taking place,” says Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IHS Markit.
The next battle for digital assistants will take place in the home appliance market as makers look to integrate Amazon Alexa and Google Assistants in their smart connected appliances. The market for smart connected home appliances is expected to be about 700 million units cumulatively from 2015 through 2020, according to IHS Markit.
“Currently these smart appliances are likely to be assistant-enabled, and there is a possibility of also embedding this digital assistant AI-based technology within certain premium ranges of appliances, such as smart fridges, smart wall ovens, smart coffee machines and even robotic vacuum cleaners,” says Dinesh Kithany, senior principal analyst at IHS Markit. “As adoption of this emerging technology grows, the key market differentiator will not be simply supporting digital assistant technology, but will be the use-cases and skill-sets which can be built around them.”
To read the full report on digital assistants, visit: https://technology.ihs.com/Services/503435/home-appliance-intelligence-service