24.5 million voice-first devices will ship this year; mainly Amazon Echos

“We are entering the age of the CUI, the conversational user interface. Already, there are 8.2 million voice-first devices in homes, mostly Amazon Echos,” John Koetsier reports for Forbes. “By the end of this year, that number will balloon to 33 million.”

“That’s the prediction from VoiceLabs, a startup that helps companies monitor and measure people’s interaction with their Alexa Skills or Google Actions,” Koetsier reports. “Skills and actions are integration points between Alexa or Google Assistant and your technology; they are the conversational user interface equivalent of apps on Android or iOS smartphones.”

“Amazon has more than a year’s jump on Google in this space, and so there are many more skills than actions. VoiceLabs CEO Adam Marchick says there are now more than 7,000 skills available. That’s a significant platform advantage for Amazon,” Koetsier reports. “Google has somewhere around 100 right now, and the mobile equivalent is an App Store with millions of apps versus a competing store with just a few thousand.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, Apple has something in the works.

We’d buy an Amazon Echo echo (Siri Speaker) from Apple. Would you?

As we wrote in March:

Something along the lines of Amazon Echo is what Apple should have done if run by competent, forward-thinking management. When Apple finally does do their version of Amazon Echo (and they will get around to doing such a product eventually) they will rightly be called a follower. The company had all of the ingredients to make their own Echo, before Amazon, except for the vision, it seems.

And, as we wrote back in June:

There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…

Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.

Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.

Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.

An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely.

And, boosting Siri usage, makes it better for everyone as it has more input (“Ah, input! More input!” – Number 5) from which to learn.

Apple’s Amazon Echo echo: What if AirPort Extreme becomes the Siri speaker? – December 1, 2016
Apple abandons development of wireless routers – November 21, 2016


    1. Siri’s status is kind if confusing for me…

      On AppleWatch it behaves much much better… almost flawless in dictation… dont ask me why but there is a Clear differance…. at least for me!

      And yes i would buy an Apple home CUI…. eventhough i already have a similar thing with my Applewatch, iPhone, and somewhat AppleTV. …
      an AppleTV with Airport Time Capsule and CUI would be cool…

  1. I’m going to say this again, for the hundredth time: AMAZON has provided no numbers to back up anything regarding the echo’s “success”. There is zero evidence of it actually being over 4 million units (which is the minimum definition of “most” out of 8 million)… I do not believe that if 33 million devices are “shipped” this year, that amazon will have over 16 million since they NEVER announce any kind of sales figures at all. But rest assured, if apple enters this new deliberately cut out market segment, and dominate it? They will be doomed because they’ll sell 18 million of the 33 and that will be “below expectations”, but amazon will still be a “success” with zero evidence… it’s like I’m living if f’ing bizzaro world now.

  2. This looks more awesome than some lame speaker –

    Here is their miniature Einstein Robot based on similar AI tech. It is kind of silly, and I laughed when I first saw it. But, the AI seems better than anything from Google, Amazon or Apple, and for only $250 it’s a lot more interesting than a smartphone or speaker.

    1. Could be that Apple could refresh the corporate coffers with a product that some people are actually willing to buy. 24 million is not a small number, you know.

  3. I had no curiosity about these devices until I had some time with an Echo late last year. Quite impressive – one of those Jobsian things you didn’t know you wanted until you saw (heard) it. It’s the Star Trek computer made real – “Computer, play some jazz” and the sound quality isn’t bad. My young daughter had a blast playing 20 questions and trivia games. Alexa seems like a real companion.

    Now my only decision is whether to get the Echo or Google Home. Google has far more knowledge but Echo can do more stuff.

    With Apple’s history with music, a smart AI speaker seemed like a no-brainer. But that’s assuming Apple leadership has brains.

  4. Depends how you live, for me it makes more sense to talk to the Apple Watch than install Echo in every room. Those 20cm thick concrete walls in every room and 3 floors….

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