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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Smart speakers popular in non-metro cities too, survey suggests

During the survey, the placement of the devices was discussed as well and it was ascertained that 81 per cent kept it in their living rooms.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 28, 2020 4:02:45 pm
Amazon, Amazon Echo series, global smart speaker shipments, Amazon vs Google, Google Home series, Echo Dot price in India, smart speaker markets, Google Home mini, Xiaomi smart speakers, Alibaba Tmall Genie, global smart speaker salesAmazon Echo dot (File Photo)

Smart speakers have become a norm in metro cities in the past few years. At first, smart speakers were considered a gadget of luxury but nowadays more middle-class households are buying voice assistant-enabled speakers. They can be used to control the lights and gadgets in the house, to ask basic things like temperature, timings of events, or listening to music. In a recent survey by Amazon India and Karvy Insights on the adoption of the gadgets and how the sale has increased in non-metro cities as well.

The introduction of the voice assistant Alexa in the Hindi language also played a major role in the increased usage of smart speakers. 43 per cent of users in non-metro cities gave commands in Hindi languages. Users from cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Vishakapatnam used the smart speaker for two and a half hours a day on average.

50 per cent of non-metro cities customers bought the device because they wanted to create a smart home controlling TV, lights, AC, fans etc. After use, 47 per cent also felt that their kids’ language and pronunciation skills improved.

“Emergence of Hindi as a voice command language is the most fascinating aspect. This will not only boost smart-speaker usage in the Hindi speaking non-metros but also open the opportunity in cities where users prefer other regional languages. The parents in smaller towns have realised that smart speakers can be a great tool in building their kid’s communication skills with proper diction and accent. Also, this will give the kids a break from the increasing number of screen-hours which has become a concern. The study also revealed that among those who are aware of smart speakers, Amazon Echo (with Alexa) had high awareness of 97%,” said Debashis Chatterjee, Associate Vice President, Karvy Insights Ltd.

Somehow, 52 per cent of parents have also shared that their kids are learning better with the help of smart speakers. Thanks to its connectivity with various music apps, 55 per cent of users enjoyed listening to music better, thanks to the decent sound quality of Amazon Echo devices and considering their compact nature. A surprising thing was that 50 per cent of users were using it to pay their utility bills.

“Smart speakers bring convenience and simplify the lives of customers. From switching on a light, listening to music, shopping or even paying utility bills, voice is the most natural way to get things done. At Amazon, we work hard every day to make Alexa more useful for our customers in India. Alexa supports Hindi, knows shayari, music, dialogues from Indian movies, latest information on cricket, and can even help learn
English. Last year, Amazon Echo doubled its growth in non-metros across India. We will continue to invent on behalf of customers to make Alexa and Echo an important part of their lives,” said Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices, India.

ALSO READ | The best smart speakers under Rs 20,000 in 2020

During the survey, the placement of the devices was discussed as well and it was ascertained that 81 per cent kept it in their living rooms. Not just from Amazon, plenty of smart speakers are now available. However, the choices offered by Amazon are versatile as they start from Rs 2,249 going up to over Rs 20,000.

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