Smart speakers could invade homes faster than any other gadget

By

Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
Smart speakers could be fastest consumer device ever to hit 50 percent adoption.
Photo: Apple

Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and forthcoming Apple HomePod could become the fastest consumer device in history to hit 50 percent adoption levels, claims Activate CEO Michael J. Wolf.

For those keeping track at home, that’s faster than smartphones, television, cars, the internet, and personal computers.

smart speakers
Smart speakers are taking off in a big way.
Photo: Wall Street Journal

“The sales are going to be extraordinary,” Wolf said at the Wall Street Journal’s D.Live conference. “Every big tech company believes it’s its manifest destiny to own the digital assistant.” Wolf’s projections call for 50 percent of homes to have a smart speaker within five years of them going on the market.

Given that the first-gen Amazon Echo was made available in summer 2015, that means that we’ve got roughly three more years for Wolf’s prediction to come true.

Wolf also suggested that one big use case we still haven’t seen enough of for smart speakers will be messaging apps that will grow the market by piggybacking on apps that we’re already hooked on, such as WhatsApp.

In addition, he noted that sales of smart speakers will supposedly peak in the next couple of years, before the technology starts moving away from smart speakers and into other connected devices, such as kitchen appliances. (This is something that Amazon has been doing proactively by shifting Echo into other form factors such as alarm clocks.)

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker is set to ship this December, priced at $349. It will come in white or space gray, and will initially ship to consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, with other markets following next year.

Which smart speaker — if any — do you own? Do you think these predictions about the rise of the smart speaker will become a reality? Let us know in the comments below.

Via: Fortune