Cross-Demographic Appeal

From the early days of voice assistant research, we have heard that it’s not just millennials who are making use of their smart speakers. In fact, many breakthrough use cases that are being developed today are specifically geared toward older audiences. From adherence assistance devices in healthcare to combating social isolation, voice technology continues to play an important role in seniors’ lives. Last week, we saw new research from Project Zilver that emphasizes this trend. Fielding a survey and focus group study that revealed older adult’s thoughts on how they want to use the technology in the future and where they see it adding value to their daily routines. Any company who has an aging audience should be considering voice as a powerful way to engage them and provide utility.

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A New Companion 

Project Zilver, a Dutch research group, has released findings from a study done on older adults (61-80 years old) voice assistant usage and preferences. One part of the study, an online survey, found that 20% of this group was already using voice technology and that close to a third of the group was open to using voice as a way to get information, read emails and help with planning. In a smaller focus group, they found that “the majority of people in the focus group claimed to enjoy using the device and that they felt it improved their lives. Reminders for appointments and medication, grocery shopping, and turning lights on and off were all listed by participants as ways they liked using the voice assistant.” These findings support other research on voice assistants being a beneficial utility for older generations and we continue to see use cases emerge for this audience, from healthcare to simple reminders and conversation. More on Voicebot AI.

Huawei Crosses Borders 

Chinese technology company Huawei has launched a new speaker named the Huawei Sound X. The product, designed in partnership with French audio company Devialet, is available not only in Huawei’s home market of China but across Europe including Germany, France, Italy and Spain. While the speaker does not yet include support for voice assistants outside of China, where it uses Huawei’s own assistant, the company has said that there is a roadmap to integrate a mainstream smart assistant. This launch marks a competitive high-end entrant to the Western smart speaker market. More on CNBC.

Follow the Story 

Late last year, the BBC launched an interactive news briefing format for voice-enabled device users that allows listeners to engage with stories and request additional information. Now the team behind the initiative have shared some details on their approach, design and learnings from the effort. Highlights include thoughts on their marketing strategy and content navigation planning. More on BBC News Labs.

Stats Don’t Lie

$5 – potential incentive reward for users providing voice recordings to Facebook. (data via The Verge)

51% – U.S. internet users who said they saw benefits of voice banking. (data from FinServe via eMarketer)

Chart of the Week

In Car Voice Assistant Use Cases
(Voicebot AI)