Consumers in the U.S. are looking for simple and easy ways to interact with their devices, to not only get them to do things they want, but access the information and content that they need.
Being able to simply ask a device to do something and have it comply is becoming increasingly prevalent. A recent survey released today by Nuance Communications confirms just how prevalent. The survey, which was conducted among 1,001 mobile phone owners during the month of December, examined the usage of these virtual assistants, the tasks that they most commonly perform and what kinds of features and functionality consumers would like to see from them in the future.
With mobile virtual assistant platforms like Siri and S-Voice being built directly into smartphones, it appears that more and more people are using them than ever before. The attitudes and perceptions of the mobile virtual assistant are changing, according to the survey results.
Not surprisingly, 75 percent of respondents stated that they have their mobile device “always on them” or “at hand.” Of those who have a personal assistant feature on their phone, approximately 90 percent use their digital personal assistant because it’s quicker, easier and more convenient. Nearly 60 percent of respondents noted they use the feature daily. The most common uses were for driving directions (84 percent), the weather (72 percent) and restaurant recommendations (61 percent). Beyond the mundane, 20 percent have asked their mobile personal assistants for the meaning of life, and 5 percent even admitted to asking for dating advice!
More than 80% of those that use their virtual assistant feel that it’s useful. A majority also use their virtual assistant in their car the most.
The disparity between men and women and the relationship with their virtual assistant also came through in the survey results. For example, women indicated they would “name” their personal assistant more often than men, 71 percent compared to 66 percent. Woman are also more social with their digital personal assistant, with nearly 60 percent sending texts and updating social media (compared to 48 percent of men). Men also use their virtual assistant because they prefer to be hands free, whereas women use it to increase productivity. Overall, men are more likely to have a “personal connection” with their mobile device that has a digital personal assistant.
In terms of tasks performed with the virtual assistant, there were a number of things that respondents wished their virtual assistant did, but wasn’t capable of currently. These included voice search for directions, information, and content, voice dictation and voice dialing. Perhaps most importantly, 80 percent wanted their personal assistant to carry with them across devices - be it a tablet computer, personal computer, car or television.
Finally, when asked what type of “personality” they would want a virtual assistant to have, nearly 60 percent preferred a matter-of-fact personality, but many wanted elements of humor and sass with their personalities. Three percent even suggested they wanted one that was nagging in nature.
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