Smart speaker sales are soaring. There’s no denying that. But new research from Parks Associates helps put that data into context. The firm projects that total sales of smart speakers with digital voice assistants will hit 64 million in 2022. That’s a large number, especially considering there’s an estimated install base of just 118.5 million as of the end of 2018.
"Voice is emerging as a key complement to smart home device adoption and ownership, as it provides a simple method of interaction and creates opportunities for a centralized user interface and interoperability among multiple devices," Dina Abdelrazik, Research Analyst, Parks Associates, said in a statement. "The next step will be integration of voice among multiple device categories, which will help to alleviate smart home fragmentation."
Smart speaker adoption has exploded in recent years, with Parks’ data showing the category grew by 800 percent from 2016 to 2018—though, not surprisingly, that growth is driven primarily by two main players: Amazon and Google.
“They have made it easier for companies to enable voice-based solutions while creating competition for consumer mindshare, with Apple, Samsung, and Harman Kardon promoting their own solutions in an increasingly crowded market,” Abdelrazik said. “This diversity gives companies more choices when considering partnerships or whether to develop their own proprietary in-house solution.”
Along with the increased market penetration of the smart speaker, the products are also picking up steam in the home. That is, consumers are actually using their smart speakers more often. According to the Parks’ report, 21 percent of smart home owners said they’ve used their devices to turn on or off other smart home products in their homes, while 18 percent have used them to check another device’s status.
So, while tech makers in the smartphone space are experiencing a contracting market, voice is very much alive and thriving.