Most of us have tried Siri, Cortana or Google Voice, but just 6% are using them in public


Virtual butlers like Siri, Google Voice or Cortana were supposed to be the next frontier in gadget interaction, and we would just be talking to our phones like we do to people - that was the premise. While the voice assistants are getting better by the day, artificial intelligence bots and all, their adoption and daily usage remain moderate at best. 

The culprit? Well, people are simply reluctant to use them in public, a new survey shows. Our own poll results about the adoption of Siri, Google Now or Cortana showed the same thing as the fresh report here - that people are using them every now and then, or showcase them to friends and family out of curiosity, but they certainly aren't shaking the world of digital interaction as was promised and expected. The thing is, it is offputting to shout loud personal questions to Siri or your Android phone without looking a bit strange on the subway, not to mention how annoying it is for the people around you.

The new study finds that the percentage of users that have never fired up Siri or Google Now is in the low single digits for each respective platform. When it comes to using them on a regular basis, though, it is highly location-dependent. As a whole, 51% use the digital butlers in the car and 39% at the home, which is a fair number, but just 1.3% talk to their phone while at work, and only 6% are comfortable to do it in public in general. Among Android users, that last percentage is higher - 12% vs just 3% for Siri - but it's still a very low number.

At the same time, Amazon's Echo home hub with the Alexa virtual assistant is enjoying unbridled sales success, as people have no issues with giving voice commands to a gizmo, as long as it;s in the confines of their own home, so it seems to be just the matter of using the virtual butlers in public that is currently preventing their more frequent adoption. Queue mind control.

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28 Comments

1. sissy246

Posts: 7115; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I don't use it because I am not going to talk to my phone out in public . I would feel weird.

11. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

But no one is goin to know who you are talking too. How does it look any different than when you're having a conversation.?

14. bambamboogy02

Posts: 838; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

The way you hold your device, when speaking to someone or speaking to the phone look different as long as no headset is used. You have a conversation whilw on the other hand you command your phone, set alarm, add appointment, etc.

17. Unordinary unregistered

With Siri you could always type the question or command... Heck with all of them you can.

24. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Lesson in life, who cares what people think. They are not your parents, family, nor they pay the cell bill. I have no problem obtaining or using assistant in public. However, I do despise people engaged in a conversation with the speaker on; I don't care who you talking, nor do I want to hear your foolish friend on the other side. I'm so delighted Nextel is out of business.

2. breathlesstao unregistered

I fail to se the appeal in these, yet everyone is pushing them so hard that certain things pertaining to them can't even be disabled now, even if one doesn't want it. Kinda mind-boggling. In a car or as an accessibility option? Yes. But just general everyday use? No.

8. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

I use it most for in car or for reminders, love cortana reminders. Plus by doing so, it is like this confirmation if the person is there next to me that I set a reminder. Still kinda weird for everyday usage in terms of 'how far is it to china'

3. tokuzumi

Posts: 1903; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I use Google Now to navigate somewhere, so I don't have to open Google Maps, type where I want to go, and then all the other clicks to get navigation started. But otherwise, you just look like you are forever alone, and no one will talk to you, so you have to talk to your phone.

6. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Nerd....

4. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2350; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

I don't use them, they don't work

5. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Look at those huge Bezels on that white phone!

9. viragarp

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I hope that's not an Apple phone, because they are the best, right? ;)

10. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Yeap, the so called the 'best' one should be easily to notice. Even though they put very huge forehead... I mean very huge Bezels on it.

13. viragarp

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I think Siri lives in the Bezel :D

19. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Apple have patent about smart Bezels. And now you've said that...

7. MingLiangChen

Posts: 329; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Lift to ear function to discreetly speak to the phone might not look as weird as saying out loud.

12. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Voice assistants are useless in general. Holding my home button for a blink of an eye, brings up Google Now and I can type in what I want an it will be right the first time vs saying it and having the recorder not understand the first time which is frustrating. They also still don't handle accents very well or context of speak.

15. bambamboogy02

Posts: 838; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Do you have an accent? If the phone can not understand your command, learn to command better. Simple. Be smarter than the device you use.

18. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Another way to say he is Dumb. Just saying....

16. redbaronk12

Posts: 99; Member since: Dec 14, 2013

Saying"OK Google, wake me up at..." is a very convenient way to set my alarm just before going to sleep.

20. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

OK Google is very useful. I set reminders, send texts, call people, set alarms, do quick searches, playing music. It is especially useful while driving. I do feel weird using it outside the house. It understands what I'm saying 95% of the time or even higher. My wife uses it exclusively for search. I wish it would take commands with the screen off at all times rather than just when charging. I love ok google.

21. bambamboogy02

Posts: 838; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Droid Ultra did, with a single processor dedicated for voice commands. Instead of an always on screen, they should have went for always listening device to voice command no matter what.

22. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Most phones have always listening.

23. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Motorola is known for that. My last 3 phones have been Samsung (S6, Note 5, S7) and none of them have ALWAYS listening. It may say that in the settings, but that's with the stipulation of the screen being on. While charging it will respond with the screen off. My G2 didn't do it either, but I can't speak for the new LG's.

25. XperiaG

Posts: 178; Member since: Jun 06, 2016

I just use it when I'm walking on the street or when I do have to pay attention to other things so I do not have to look directly to my phone... Nice features.

26. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Of course people won't use it in public, no one would comfortable doing that. It would be really awkward as an experience.

27. TheOracle1

Posts: 2280; Member since: May 04, 2015

Someone has to say this. Google Voice is the free phone feature from Google. Google Now is the assistant like Siri. Yeah, I know what you meant PA but that's just carelessness.

28. epdm2be

Posts: 822; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

... not to mention they are completely useless for non-english speaking areas o/t world. I even wonder how they cope with thick accented English variants like Indian English or the various accents in the UK.

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