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December 17, 2019

looks who's talking : alexa vs google Assistant vs siri

Smart Speaker Market Share : 2018 vs 2019

US Voice Assistant User Share 


According to India Mobile Broadband Index report 2018, there has been an 270% increase  in growth of voice searches in India.With the consumers now taking to voice in a big way , voice is being seen as the new frontier of  digital marketing . A decade ago  it would have been impossible to imagine a world where a human being would be able to talk or converse with a machine on a device . As best this was restricted to science fiction. Today thanks to Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa , Apples Siri ,Microsoft's Cortona and Samsungs Bixby, a world of opportunities  has opened up, not only for tech companies who are looking to elevate their consumer experience but also for brands that needs to be present wherever consumers are in  a multi platform world.

The Global Speech and voice recognition market size is estimated to reach USD 31.82 billion by 2025 according to  a new report by Grand View Research Inc exhibiting a CAGR of 17.2% during the forecast period.According to emarketer ,it estimates that in 2019, 111.8 million people in the US will use a voice assistant at least monthly, up 9.5% from last year. This is equivalent to 39.4% of internet users and 33.8% of the total population. According to Dentsu Aegis Network exchange4media  digital report, Digital Ad spends stood at Rs 10,819 crore  and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 31.92% to reach Rs 24,920 crore by 2021. The report stated that the surge in digital ad spends will be lead by 3 main factors including voice based search technology , vernacular as well as video content . This growth is  further enhanced by engaging mobile experiences based on augmented reality ( AR ) Virtual Reality ( VR) Technologies . So how are marketers looking at Voice based search technology and where  are they at the implementation curve ? 

So the Question is Why Voice ?Voice enables  an intimate and conversational relationship between brands and people . In theory it helps brand communicate stronger bonds with their customers. To ensure it happens it has to support the brand purpose , solve a real and genuine problem for people and be something that is uniquely suited for voice. Successful voice marketing means understanding how people like to use voice  recognition technology  and catering  marketing to those habits . 

According to Google nearly 20% of the searches on Android devices are done through voice.On their part companies have also undertaken a 360 degree marketing blitz showcasing their benefits of using voice assistants from playing a song to checking the latest cricket score to setting the alarm.This has resulted in Amazons digital voice assistant Alexa becoming a household name  along with  Google Assistant.When it comes to the household  Amazon's Alexa rules  as America's most favored Artificial Intelligence based voice assistant which controls between 60-70% of the smart speaker segment   and has more integrations with third party smart home devices than either Google Home or Apples Home Kit Products . As such the majority of smart home consumer controls the majority of smart home functions via voice with Alexa despite the fact that nearly 100% of Alexa users have a smartphone with either Apple's Siri or Google Assistant on it.


However  when it comes to the car the story is a bit different . In the smart speaker segment  Amazon has the great advantage of being the first in the field  by about a year . Google has been playing catch up with its assistant and  devices since 2015, and Apple  has struggled to figure out which direction it wants to run  this race, despite the fact that Apple's Siri was technically the first voice assistant to break out in the market . But in the realm of the car voice assistant, both Google and Apple  have managed to successfully connect themselves to the automobile mobile experience. But despite  being behind Amazon is racing avidly for a crack at becoming the consumer's most favored navigator

July 21, 2018

28.4 billion Mobile app downloads in 2018, q2

"mobile app consumer spending"

Mobile App Consumer Spending


 
Q2 2018 –has set new  records for global mobile app downloads and consumer spend. Topping the record-setting Q1 2018 levels, there were over 28.4 billion mobile app downloads globally across iOS and Google Play in Q2,2018  up 15% year over year according to the report by AppAnnie

This number is particularly staggering all the more because the numbers reflect  new downloads and does not include re installs or app updates.

Furthermore consumers spends on mobile apps exceeded  $18.5 billion across iOS and Google Play combined – a growth rate of over 20% year over year. 
Most of the downloads came from Google play as it  significantly widened its lead over iOS , exceeded 20 billion in Q2 2018, up 20% year over year and widened the gap between itself and iOS by 25 percentage points to 160%. However global consumer spend on iOS App store grew 20% year over year. 

The mobile app download on Google Play was led by India which was the largest driver of mobile app downloads in terms of growth and market share.On the iOS, ,United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia saw the largest growth in mobile app downloads year over year.Most of the the mobile app growth was led by FIFA World cup 2018, as , Video Players &  Sports apps drove growth in Google Play downloads quarter over quarter in Q2 2018.

The impact of Sports downloads was even more pronounced on iOS where Sports apps were the largest driver of growth in global iOS downloads, followed by Finance and Travel apps. According to AppAnne out of  the top 10 Sports apps in the US by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup  were (June 10-30, 2018), Telemundo Deportes, FOX Sports GO, and FOX Sports ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for average megabytes per user – an indication of users live streaming World Cup matches on mobile.FOX Sports downloads increased by 95x for the same period, while Telemundo Deportes En Vivo grew 444x,

In the UK, over 6 million hours were spent in the top 10 Sports apps by time spent on Android phone during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup, up 65% from the 3 weeks directly prior. Sports streaming service fuboTV saw the largest impact, growing at a whopping 713 percent and adding 309K new users in the U.S., while Hulu saw the smallest impact at 18 percent growth. for example.

Sports apps on iOS were the third largest contributors to absolute growth in consumer spend and in market share in Q2, while Entertainment and Productivity apps were numbers one and two, respectively.In-app subscriptions for both Sports and Entertainment apps drove the consumer spending increases. On Google Play, Games, Social, and Music & Audio apps saw the largest download growth, quarter-over-quarter.


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January 9, 2018

voice asssistant war between google and amazon hots up



According to a Google  blog post this morning, “The Google Assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices.” When Google says “devices” it’s including Android smartphones, tablets, TVs, headphones and Google Home smart speakers. However its not clear how many Google Home, Mini and Max speakers were sold in 2017.

In terms of numbers Four hundred million is huge  but that includes mostly Android smartphones. Based on a review of data from NPR, Strategy Analytics and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, it appears that Google Home has roughly a 25 percent share of the US smart speaker market.Specifically, Strategy Analytics estimated that Google’s share of Q4 smart speaker sales was 24%.Walker Sands (“Future of Retail 2017“), in a survey of 1,622 US adults, found that about 23% respondents owned a smart speaker. If the results can be generalised to the broader population, then something like 56 million assistant-powered speakers are in US homes today. The survey was conducted in late Q3 or early Q4, before Christmas.

Meanwhile Rival Amazon is also making announcements at CES with a range of device makers. Alexa is being integrated into a set of expensive augmented reality glasses ($1,000) from Vuzix. More significantly, it will be added to PCs and laptops from Acer, Asus and HP. This represents a significant potential challenge to Cortana. Meanwhile data suggests that Amazon has now taken over from Apple as the virtual assistant leader, if not in absolute device numbers then in terms of visibility and momentum.

According to a range of third party estimates, Amazon has roughly three-fourths of the smart speaker market to Google’s 25 percent.Suggesting that it’s gaining on Alexa, last week Google said there was robust demand for Google Home. The company asserted it “sold more than one Google Home every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October.” That means, since approximately October 19, Google has sold nearly 7 million devices. That’s not all of Google Home sales but suggests the totality of devices sold is below 10 million.

Last year, Alexa was the clear winner of CES, with companies like Ford, Huawei, and LG agreeing to integrate their products with Amazon's virtual assistant. Since then, Alexa has only gotten bigger - Amazon says that it sold " tens of millions " of Alexa-enabled products, led by its own Amazon Echo Dot, over the holiday season. 

Among the list of devices the Google Assistant is being integrated into are “smart displays”.They will initially come from JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony. Google was rumoured to be working on its own answer to the Amazon Echo Show, which will have a screen.It’s not clear if a Google Home branded smart screen device is still in the works or if the company will rely on these and other third parties instead. The screen creates a range of obvious new user experience possibilities as well as new marketing and commerce capabilities for brands, publishers and marketers. That same potential with the Echo Show has to date been mostly unrealised.

The new smart screen Google Assistant devices will make video calls, access Google Photos and show YouTube videos.Amazon’s Echo Show and Fire TV have been blocked from showing YouTube for allegedly violating Google’s terms of service and not offering Google products reciprocity on Amazon.com. The Google Assistant is also coming to more smart TVs this year In addition to existing offerings from Sony and NVIDIA, introduced last year, TV makers integrating the Assistant include including TCL, Element, Hisense, Westinghouse and LG.

While Alexa for screens works exclusively with Amazon's own echo hardware,Google Assistant  is compatible with devices made by other companies including new models from Sony ,LG,Lenevo, and JBL, a brand of Samsung's Harman division.


As of now Amazon seems ahead of the competition as got in on the smart speaker market early, and has moved quickly to ensure its stays out in front. Now, by most measures, the Amazon Echo is dominating the smart speaker market . The company has built on the lead with an avalanche of new hardware released in the last year: The tablet-like Echo Show, which has a screen; the Echo Look fashion camera; the Echo Plus home hub; the Echo Spot alarm clock; the redesigned Echo.

Plus, partners like Sonos and Ecobee have released their own products with Alexa built in, so you can talk to (and shop from) Amazon from an ever-increasing number of places. And with 30,000 skills, or apps , now available for Alexa, customers can do a lot more with those devices - giving them fewer reasons to switch. This is all a part of Amazon's ongoing playbook to get Alexa everywhere. Now, with its market share established and its position looking to be firmly entrenched, Amazon is entering a new phase in its master plan.


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January 7, 2018

google issues seo guidelines for voice search



Consumers are increasingly turning to voice for search. While Amazon Alexa or Cortana-enabled products uses results from Bing.Google Assistant or Apple Siri, is powered by Google.Brands and publishers are have realised that they need to be on top of SERPs across voice search as well Following these best practices guidelines published by Google recently will be increasingly important for your content to surface in voice searches. 

Google Research blog recently has published the search quality raters guidelines, contractors guidelines to evaluate Google’s search results, specifically for the Google Assistant and voice search results. It is similar to the web search quality guidelines, but it changes in that there is no screen to look at when evaluating such results; instead you are evaluating the voice responses from the Google Assistant.

It is important to note that comScore predicts that 50% of all searches will be by voice in 2020. Gartner forecasts 30% of web browsing will be done by voice the same year. Voice adoption is growing quickly and discovery through Voice SEO will become critical.

According to searchengineland “The Google Assistant needs its own guidelines in place, as many of its interactions utilize what is called ‘eyes-free technology,’ when there is no screen as part of the experience.” Google has designed machine learning and algorithms to try to make the voice responses and “answers grammatical, fluent and concise.” Google said that they ask raters to make sure that answers are satisfactory across several dimensions.Here are some of the voice search and voice assisted search guidelines issues by google. 

Information Satisfaction: the content of the answer should meet the information needs of the user. 

Length of the query: when a displayed answer is too long, users can quickly scan it visually and locate the relevant information. For voice answers, that is not possible. It is much more important to ensure that we provide a helpful amount of information, hopefully not too much or too little. Some of our previous work is currently in use for identifying the most relevant fragments of answers. Formulation: it is much easier to understand a badly formulated written answer than an ungrammatical spoken answer, so more care has to be placed in ensuring grammatical correctness. 

Elocution: spoken answers must have proper pronunciation and prosody. Improvements in text-to-speech generation, such as WaveNet and Tacotron 2, are quickly reducing the gap with human performance.

top 5 silliest inventions in silicon valley

"silliest inventions in silicon valley"
"funniest tweet over silicon's valley bizarre inventions"

The funniest and silliest Silicon Valley Inventions 


 
For every 10 things invented at silicon valley last year, there were atleast 8 things that count among the dumbest and screwed up this year.From a office tent called a pause pod to a the app-enabled vending machine Bodega.Silicon valley in its efforts to reinvent how people live and interact succeeded in altering the human mind by sheer idiocy and brain freeze. Here are the top 5 silliest silicon valley inventions that did not manage to make hay while the silicon valley sun was at its fiercest
1)Juicero 
What was “invented”: A wifi-enabled juicer with a powerful press designed to squeeze juice from a proprietary bag of fruit and vegetables. 
What already existed: Your hands, Capri Sun, juicers. 
Juicero was the silliest and most infamous, $400 juicer that sold its customers prepackaged bags of fruit and vegetables that, it said, could be pressed into delicious juice using only its machine. But Bloomberg figured out that the machine was unnecessary. You could just squeeze the bag with your bare hands and get about the same amount of juice from the vending machine.Five months and $118.5 million of investment later, Juicero was dead. The CEO of Juicero was last seen emerging from Burning Man, drinking an expensive snake oil from a company that also calls it “raw water" 

2)Bodega 
What iwas “invented”: A replacement for the corner store. 
What already existed: Vending machines, minibars. Bodega set a record time for a startup to experience public backlash. Bodega was an app-enabled vending machine with bougie products that aims to put your beloved, locally owned corner store out of business. “The vision here is much bigger than the box itself,” Bodega’s co-founder Paul McDonald told Fast Company. That interview ran on September 13th. On September 14th, Bodega apologised to “to anyone we’ve offended.” The apology focused on the name, which the company assured that it had market tested in “Latin American communities,” and 97 percent of respondents didn’t think it was offensive. What Bodega missed was that the entire concept was offensive.

3)Lyft Shuttle 
What it “invented”: Lyft, but for people who are cool with traveling on a set path in a shared vehicle for a lower rate. 
What already existed: A bus. Lyft Shuttle, launched as an experimental service in March of this year, was promoted as a cheaper, commuter-friendly alternative to hailing a Lyft. 
As the Verge noted, the entire thing more or less duplicated what a city bus already does: travels on a fixed route, picks up and drops off riders at predetermined spots and transports a larger group of people at one time.The only difference was that the Proceeds from the bus went back into the system that keeps the bus running, not into the coffers of a VC fund. Incredible work and Great job, Lyft. 

4)The Office Tent called Pause Pod 
what was the invention:your daily getaway at office
What already existed : your workstation 
Long days at office,terrible sleeping habits with day long stress and caffeinated delirium.This is where Odd Company's Pause Pod came in and tried to make a difference, to  increase your productivity at office.The Pause Pod was a kind of portable tent like pod a private pop up space where you could set up anywhere at your office, except inside that corner office where you boss sits the whole day.It was a tent which you can pitch up anywhere and disappear inside leaving your co workers bewildered and wondering what you are doing inside.

5)WeWork:
What was the Invention : A shared office space. 
What already existed : Roomates: 
With an $18billion valuation ,WeWork is worth more than Elon Musk's SpaceX.But unlike Elon Musk's rocket start up,WeWork has no moonshot ideas.WeWork just rents real estate and brands properties.WeWork is like WeLive  akin to living like roommates in a shared office space in a kind of communal offshoot.This is called “co-living” in the world of WeWork. In the real world, it’s called having roommates. If you elect to have a roommate rather “co-living” with someone, it tends to be cheaper, and you get to choose your own decor.