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Voice assistant-controlled smart homes to grow 1,000 per cent in next five years

Tim Maytom

The number of voice assistant devices used to control smart homes is expected to grow 1,000 per cent over the next five years, growing from 25m now to 275m by 2023, according to a new study by Juniper Research.

The adoption of voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant will be a key factor behind the growth of the smart home, with the introduction of routines from both Amazon and Google meaning that voice assistants will become the most convenient way to combine desired actions in a smart home, creating a more cohesive user experience and driving adoption of the technology.

According to Juniper's analysis, Amazon's loss-leading strategy, with hardware products tied to a comprehensive product and service ecosystem, has established a strong lead for the retailer in the smart home sector, with Juniper predicting that Google will remain a distant second in the space.

While Google's AI prowess, demonstrated by its recent advances showcased at this year's Google I/O conference, is undoubtedly strong, it has a comparatively poor ecosystem, with Alexa's monetised Skills creating an incentive for third-party vendors to take an 'Amazon-first' approach.

"Current AI capabilities couple with routines means that Google's greater AI investment will not displace Amazon's lead," said Nick Maynard, author of the research. "To compete effectively, Google must enhance the quality of its ecosystem."

The research, titled "Smart Homes: Vendor Analysis, Impact Assessments & Stategic Opportunities 2018-2023", also forecasts that connected appliances will have greater integration with voice assistants over the course of the next five years, with shipments of connected appliances set to increase by 80 per cent year-on-year until 2023.

The growth will be further helped by dramatic falls in the average cost of connected appliances, set to fall by 52 per cent between 2018 and 2023.

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