VPA-enabled wireless speakers will top $2 billion by 2020

The market for wireless virtual personal assistant (VPA) – enabled speakers will reach $2 billion by 2020, Gartner has said. 

VPA-enabled speakers – speakers that feature an intelligent personal assistant such as the Amazon Echo – at expected to be in at least 3.3 per cent of households are predicted to have VPA–enabled wireless speakers by 2020. 

Werner Goertz, research director at Gartner, said: “With smaller form factors, price erosion over the years and potential subsidisation models, we expect that 75 per cent of households with VPAs will have one, 20 per cent will have two, and five per cent will have three or more devices by 2020".

Gartner has described the technology for these speakers is currently ‘limited’. There is a small, specific amount of terms that consumers can currently use to interact with VAP-enabled devices. 

However, this technology is expected to improve Gartner also said in its report, and ‘natural-language interaction’ might be possible by 2020, driving sales. 

The rapid adoption of VPA-enabled wireless speakers is attributed to increasing demand amongst customers.

Goertz said: “Last year, the VPA speaker market essentially consisted of consumer spending focused entirely on Amazon Echo, a wireless speaker with an array of embedded microphones to capture and respond to users’ far-field voice commands for Amazon’s VPA, Alexa. Later, Amazon introduced the Tap and Echo Dot. By 2020, competitors’ products and third-party implementations of leading VPAs (Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana) will likely have ramped up.”

VPA is expected to enrich e-commerce experiences as well as the way consumers search for information on the net, Goertz added: “The widespread adoption and proliferation of VPA speakers could result in a significant number of online shopping orders in the home being initiated from a VPA speaker, rather than a laptop or mobile device.

"Vendors that are able to create an intimate, familiar relationship with the user will be able to contextualise ordering to the extent that preferred products will be proposed, and processing details will already be captured.

“As a result, the user’s propensity to purchase products and services using VPA systems should increase, transactional friction could be reduced and the overall user experience would be improved.”

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