Emerging Voices will drive change in Business Technology

Google today released the results of its Mobile Voice Study, looking at voice search habits among American smartphone users across different age ranges 

Google Mobile Voice Study InfographicOnce you get past the jokey headlines about voice search in the bathroom and locating the TV remote, there are some interesting implications for business technology adoption by the next wave of entrants to the workforce, with close to 90% of teens agreeing that voice search will be “very common” in the future.

Let’s hope their future employees are listening….

Among teens 13-18, 55% use voice search every day, 56% of adults said it makes them “feel tech savvy”  while the majority (45%) still admit it makes them “feel like a geek”; and both groups are talking to their phones while watching TV (38%) and wish voice search could help them find the remote control (41%).

The Mobile Voice Study asked participants to articulate their opinions about voice search (the most popular examples of which are Google, Siri and Cortana), and to explain how, where and why they use the mobile feature. Respondents clearly prioritise voice search for activities that require safety and efficiency. For example:

  • 40% use voice search to ask for directions.
  • 39% use the feature to dictate a text message.
  • 32% do so to make a phone call.
  • 23% of adult Americans use voice search “when I’m cooking.”
  • 51% of teens (and 32% of adults) use voice search “just for fun.”
  • 27% use voice search to check the weather.

The majority of U.S. teens (55%) use hands-free search every day, and that figure rises to 75% among teens who are wedded to their smartphones (using it 11+ hours per day).  While hands-free search is growing more common across all age groups, some self-consciousness remains: 45% of adult Americans admit to “feeling like a geek” when they talk to their smartphone. Despite this, all age groups agree that voice search will be “very common” in the future (89% of teens and 85% of adults agree).

76% of all Americans think voice search is great for multitasking. 59% of teens and 36% of adults use the their phone’s voice search while watching TV and 22% of teens claim to use it “when I’m in the bathroom”. Overall, two-thirds (64%) think voice search is cool and nearly as many (58%) say they feel tech savvy.

The study was commissioned by Google and executed by Northstar Research, a global consulting firm. It examined the smartphone voice search habits of 1,400 Americans, 13 years of age and older (400 ages 13-17 and 1,000 adults ages 18+).


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