The serum giveaway is part of a broader audio experience that includes customized playlists to accompany nighttime skincare rituals. Read more…
Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and subscription services currently generate more enthusiasm among U.S. shoppers than smart speakers. Read more…
Amazon said the number of Alexa “skills,” the voice-powered apps created for Amazon’s virtual assistant, topped 80,000 worldwide in early 2019.
The number of Alexa skills in the United States more than doubled to 56,750 in January 2019 from 25,784 a year earlier, according to Voicebot.ai. Alexa skill growth in the U.K. rose 233% to 29,910, while Germany’s skill count rose 152% to 7,869.
Number of Alexa Skills by Country, January 2019
Google Assistant has “actions” as the apps that expand its capabilities beyond search.
Number of Google Assistant Actions in United States
Google Assistant Apps by Category – January 2019
|Education and reference||15.07|
|Games and fun||11.07|
|Kids and family||9.29|
|News and magazines||7.69|
|Travel and transportation||5.60|
|Business and finance||5.41|
|Arts and lifestyle||4.73|
|Health and fitness||4.25|
|Social and communication||4.03|
|Music and audio||3.83|
|Food and drink||3.50|
|Music, photos and TV||2.76|
Less than half (40%) of consumers report interest in chatbot experiences from brands, including 20% who said they’re very interested in interacting with the artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Read more…
Businesses that employ human workers in call centers see the potential to save billions of dollars by automating conversations with their customers. That’s especially true for banks, whose operational cost savings will surge 3,400% to $7.3 billion worldwide in 2023 from $209 million this year, per a forecast from Juniper Research. Insurance companies will see their cost savings grow 333% to $1.3 billion by 2023 from $300 million this year as chatbots replace human claims processors in auto, life, property and health insurance.
The number of voice assistants in use will jump threefold to 8 billion by 2023 from 2.5 billion at the end of last year. Read more…
The U.S. installed base of smart-speaker devices nearly doubled to 66 million units in December from a year earlier, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The installed base was 53 million units in September 2018 and 36 million in December 2017.
Amazon Echo has 70 percent of the installed base, followed by Google Home at 24 percent and Apple HomePod at 6 percent.
The percentage of smart-speaker owners who have more than device grew to 35 percent in December from 18 percent a year earlier.
CIRP surveyed 500 U.S. owners of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod devices from Jan. 1 -11, 2019.
Google Assistant added flight check-in and hotel booking to its voice-activated services. Read more…
Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, for the first time added voice-powered wake-up and sleep commands to its Philips Hue smart-bulbs. Read more…
Philips Hue also extended its product line to include flood lights, more wall-mounted lights and lanterns and a motion sensor, the Verge reported. The Hue Outdoor sensor, which can detect motion up to 39 feet away, will sell for $50 starting next month. Philips also will begin selling its new outdoor lighting for prices ranging from $110 to $150 next month.
Shoppers’ use of the Alexa voice assistant more than tripled during the 2018 holiday season from a year earlier. Read more…
Amazon is letting more gadget makers use its software tools to connect Bluetooth devices like smart watches and headphones with its Alexa digital assistant. Read more…