If you believe the hype, smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo represent the next wave of computing.
Instead of tapping on a screen or typing on a keyboard, we’ll soon be speaking to a virtual assistant embodied in an ordinary looking gadget to accomplish most of our computing tasks.
For the moment, though, that vision remains largely unrealized.
Instead of doing anything heavy duty, smart speaker owners are mainly using them for basic tasks like getting a weather report or playing some music, according to a recent study from ComScore that was charted for us by Statista. The most common request of smart speakers? That they answer general questions.
Voice-based artificial intelligence may not yet live up to its hype, but that’s not much of a surprise. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said last year that the tech is closer to “the first guy up at bat” than the first inning of its life. But Bezos will surely be happy when more than just 11% of smart speaker owners buy products online through their devices.