All the major tech companies – Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon – are pouring an incredible amount of resources into their new voice assistants, like Siri or Alexa.
But talking to technology still feels odd, which is one reason why these assistants haven’t caught on yet. Consumers have been willing to give them a chance, but they just haven’t stuck.
A new study by Creative Strategies’ Carolina Milanesi shows that these assistants are having trouble becoming a habit for the average user.
Seventy percent of iPhone users say that they use Siri only sometimes or rarely, but nearly everyone’s tried it. Only 2% of American iPhone owners have never used Siri, according to the study.
Android users are similar. Sixty-two percent say that they use OK Google only infrequently, but a mere 4% of Android owners say that they’ve never used OK Google at all.
What’s wrong with Siri?
It turns out that, to many people, the issue is context. People actually tend to prefer voice assistants when they’re alone, like in a car or at home. Sixty-two percent of iPhone owners use Siri in the car, possibly because of hands-free driving laws.
But 20% of consumers who said that they’ve never used a voice assistant said it was because they feel uncomfortable talking to their tech in public.
As Milanesi writes, “cultural differences will certainly impact how voice assistants will take off and develop in different regions.”
The good news for the tech companies is that nearly everyone tries the voice assistant on their device. It’s up to Google and Apple to improve the technology enough so it can overcome how weird it feels to talk to your phone in a crowded room or walking down the street.