Splendid Unlimited

Yes, I'd like to hear it, HAL. Sing it for me.

Voice… the Christmas statistics Splendid’s Edward Hasting-Evans

January 5th 2017

We talked about our initial experiences and thoughts about Voice UI’s here, but how well have the public taken to them? Given we’ve just had Christmas now is a good time to see how the devices performed over the holiday.

Rather unsurprisingly you might say, sales of Alexa devices top the Amazon best seller list, having sold ‘millions’ worldwide (exact figures are hard to come by, but in their press release they state sales are 9x higher than last year — whatever they were). With the dot (Echo’s £50 little sister) claiming best-selling, and most gifted item on Amazon.com.

However, the retailer was hit with supply issues over the Christmas period which meant they ran out of stock on online stores, as reported by Forbes and others, leaving you wondering if their sales could have been higher.

But back to the positive, what have people been asking of their new voice interfaces? Handily Amazon have published a list in a recent press release which included:

  • Serenaded with music: Jingle Bells, All I Want for Christmas Is You, and Feliz Navidad
  • Top cocktails: Tom Collins and Manhattans
  • Favoured recipes: Chocolate chip and sugar cookies
  • Most asked for movies: Home Alone and Elf
  • Popular games: Jeopardy!, Twenty Questions and The Magic Door

It would appear that users are using the Echo for a wide range of tasks, and even entertainment, which is good from Amazon’s point of view (and other providers). As with smart phones before it, apps are key to ensuring that users stick with the system and of course are an important part of attracting new users.

What about Google Home?

Google do have their own Google Home product, which runs an AI called Google Assistant. This is a similar AI/speaker combination as that sold by Amazon. However, Google currently aren’t in the race on the same scale, with device availability restricted to the US at the moment. But we will have some thoughts on the differences between the two platforms shortly.

What’s next?

Where traditionally the Voice AI’s have tended to be tied to devices, companies such as Amazon and Google are decoupling them, providing developers with more opportunities to integrate voice into their products.

Last year LG brought a refrigerator to CES that was running Windows 10. This year they have brought a fridge with Amazon’s Alexa AI.

Other voice applications showcasing at this years CES include a voice enabled robot called Moro by Ewaybot, and even a bin that will open its lid when you ask it too (sounds silly at first, but probably very useful).

From the way the market is moving and what we’re seeing at CES, it’s clear that brands are trying to understand what voice could mean for them and to understand how it can help deliver better products and experiences. We will be keeping a close eye on any developments, as well as letting you know more about our experiences in Voice UIs. Next stop, Google Home.

Interested? Get in touch and chat to us about what Voice could mean for you.

Edward Hasting-Evans


Edward Hasting-Evans

Head of UI Development


0207 395 4800


Get in touch with us