Personal assistants are suddenly very hot, indicating a trend where consumers are buying a range of IoT devices that are integrated with personal assistant-based voice controllers. Amazon’s Alexa software, for example, will power a whole generation of voice-controlled devices. Netcracker’s recent survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers shows that those who use personal assistant devices have likely started accumulating connected things.
Those who believe personal assistants are for little more than voice-activated Google searches or placing Amazon orders via voice command are missing most of the point. A personal assistant device is a gateway into the voice-controlled IoT and is likely a leading indicator of customers who will continue to buy—and upgrade—IoT devices.
The data is already striking. More than 37 percent of our survey respondents who own personal assistants like the Echo also own wearables. Keep in mind that wearables owners make up nearly a quarter of all smart phone users. 21 percent of those people already own personal assistant devices. Furthermore, nearly 34 percent of personal assistant owners also own web-connected cameras and 26 percent own connected cars or connected car devices.
If we look at personal assistant device ownership through the lens of other IoT devices, we find that 26 percent of smart thermostat owners, 24 percent of web-based camera owners and 18 percent of connected car owners have purchased a personal assistant. This suggests that the emerging personal assistant wave may represent an IoT inflection point. A customer’s purchase of a personal assistant likely signals rapid, subsequent purchases of a variety of IoT devices. Service providers will not only want to sell these devices and connect them, but also to sell and facilitate upgrades through multiple generations of each device a customer owns.
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