Artificial Intelligence

AI has been a hot topic for a while, and attitudes about the technology vary throughout Western Europe. Still, companies are adopting AI to improve business results.

While some US consumers are warming to the idea of making voice-based purchases via smart speakers, the number of those doing so is smaller than initially estimated. In our latest forecast on smart speaker users, we lowered our outlook for the number of smart speaker buyers (people making a purchase via a smart speaker) as well as the number of smart speaker users (people who use smart speakers for any purpose).

Earlier this month, more than 175,000 tech enthusiasts gathered at CES 2020 in Las Vegas for a preview of the world’s most exciting new products. As usual, the exhibit space was chock-full of futuristic, eye-popping innovations, including flying Hyundai Ubers, bionic robot sharks, smart pajamas and zero-gravity bathtubs. But beneath the shiny veneers and seemingly endless hype, tech companies are working quietly to address a growing problem: As AI, the internet of things (IoT) and next-generation connectivity relentlessly creep into everyday life, “tech angst” is at an all-time high.

eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock discusses what she learned from the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. She then explains the significance of facial recognition bias and why paying with your hand makes sense.

Consumers are constantly in search of convenience, particularly in the form of timesaving. In the past 12 months, numerous direct-to-consumer (D2C) meal plan services have emerged, offering consumers an alternative solution to home cooking without paying a dreaded visit to the grocery store—or spending time trying to figure out a recipe.

China has proven to be a hotbed for digital innovations, especially in the past few years. During this time, marketers worldwide have observed the latest trends coming out of the country, applying what they learn to their own markets.

Though social commerce conversions will remain a challenge, the mid-funnel opportunity is growing. Instagram’s continued rollout of shoppable content features is helping brands and influencers spotlight product content and forge a better path to purchase. Pinterest has also introduced features to make it easier for retailers to upload and promote product content. And video-first platforms Snapchat and TikTok are both testing shoppable content features.

eMarketer junior forecasting analyst Nazmul Islam and principal analyst Victoria Petrock discuss how Americans are using smart speakers today and how that will morph into ambient computing in the future. They also talk about the rise of spam calls, how Americans travel for the holidays and the cloud gaming wars.

The conversational UI market is seeing massive year-over-year adoption and usage rate increases. Companies believe virtual assistants can and will be able to solve problems across the customer experience, but they just aren’t there yet. Rightpoint shares three planning steps for success.

eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock shares the latest on biometric marketing, including business applications of the latest physiological and behavioral identification techniques.

More retailers are investing in biometrics, including behavioral tracking and facial and voice recognition to not only improve store security—and potentially catch shoplifters—but to also target consumers with promotional content.

eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock explains what life will look like when voice assistants are everywhere: How will driving to work change? How will retailers and advertisers communicate with you? How would you like the voice of Samuel L. Jackson telling you what you have planned for the day?

Though most are loath to admit it, retailers already make extensive, behind-the-scenes use of biometrics to track employees, nab shoplifters and improve store security.

eMarketer executive editor Rimma Kats and principal analyst Andrew Lipsman explain how grocery stores will evolve, how many people could replace in-store shopping with voice commerce, a partnership between Alphabet’s drone arm Wing, FedEx and Walgreens and more.

eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom explores our smart speaker usage figures for Canada and the Canadian French language rollout on Amazon’s Alexa.

eMarketer forecasting director Shelleen Shum shares our smart speaker usage estimates for the UK vs. the US.

eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin discusses Facebook’s plan to give publishers more curation control over how their articles look on the platform. She also talks about the implications of letting Yelp users personalize their homepage experience and how effective the BBC’s new voice assistant can be in a competitive digital market.

According to an August 2019 survey conducted by eMarketer and Bizrate Insights, 58% of US internet users have neither used nor are interested in using smart speakers to make purchases. While 4% of respondents said they have made a purchase using a smart speaker at least once, just 2% did so regularly.

eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock explains how much you can learn from someone's voice, British Airways's VR in-flight entertainment headsets and a recent facial recognition ruling against Facebook.

In just a few short years, Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant have gone from being virtual unknowns to familiar household names. As these voice assistants—and others—continue to gain traction on smartphones and smart speakers, the market is expanding quickly. Voice-control technology has officially moved out the early-adopter phase and into the mainstream.