There are a few companies that are saying it’s still “early” days for voice assistants as a way to deflect criticism for not being in the market earlier with their own product. They know who they are (and so do you).
When it comes to voice assistants, yes, there is a lot of development ahead and interaction with technology will look very different in the next five years, but by no means is it “early days”. Voice interaction has been on mobile devices for many years and there have even been prototype ambient voice interactive devices in public since the early 2000s. The Ubi was “early days”.
Nearly five years since the Ubi’s launch, there’s now been a huge evolution in voice technologies and products, with dozens on the market and likely hundreds by the end of 2017. In terms of the timeline for voice adoption by consumers, we’re in the later stages — soon hitting mass market. An Alexa Skills developer community has already been brewing for two years.
What would be better messaging is to talk about the potential of ambient voice devices to be transformative. It’s not early days but the impact hasn’t fully been felt yet. There is still a lot of miniaturization and embedding of voice devices for them to disappear to the background and be truly ubiquitous. At that point, voice interaction will be as accessible as WiFi.