If you’re a maker of a voice first device, or any particular IOT device that requires wall power, you must avoid users unplugging the device. Re-plugging the device seems to be such a barrier that it might be weeks or even months before someone plugs the device in again. To a lesser extent, muting also leads to less likelihood to be un-muted but it’s not as severe as an unplug. An unplug is kryptonite.
I’ve observed in my own behaviour. I’ve borrowed a microUSB from an Echo Dot and poof… a week went by before I plugged it in. We’ve seen it with the Ubi where if it went unplugged, it was as good as gone.
As soon as someone re-adjusts to not having an always on device nearby, they need to then re-learn the behaviour of triggering the device. It’s a pain.
So what can device makers do? A few ideas:
- Use a non-standard adapter — like the Google Home. It’s less likely that users will borrow from it.
- Have a little bit of battery… even to chirp like a Tomaguchi toy for power….
- Nudge. Nudge on your app. Nudge on your email list. Nudge on your portal. Nudge through your other devices.
- Don’t require a plug. Find a way to get power to your device.
- Hire someone to plug your device back in.