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Andy Headington • 3 months ago

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I agree. Do you really think that voice is going to have much of an effect on anything in the next few years?

I keep seeing people pull up stats like your one 'according to Gartner, 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020' but really, where do you see anyone around you doing even 10% of their searches without a screen i.e. voice? Is everyone going to magically start speaking into their phones or speakers in the next 12-18 months? I highly doubt it.

I've asked hundreds and hundreds of people on this subject and found a handful of people who search with voice more than a few times a day.The best stat Google quoted a while back was that '20% of its mobile searches are voice' but that only equates to 10% of the whole market and when pressed, a lot of those 'searches' were found to be navigational e.g. phone mum, send a text, navigate me home - not search in the traditional sense like 'book me a flight to Paris'.

The whole hype around voice is just that - hype. Whilst smart speakers and Alexa style tech is becoming more and more embedded in things and in homes, they are not being widely used for a variety of reasons and whilst 'millenials' (whatever that really means) might potentially be using voice a bit more, the nature of voice in terms of discovery and booking means it will probably only work for a very limited set of use cases. I attended a talk from Skyscanner recently who spent 4 years on their voice app and still have a lot of challenges - and even now it is/was a very small % of their overall bookings.

I'm not saying that voice doesn't and won't have a place, I agree with that. I think we just need to focus on delivering much better experiences with current tech we have in place (and travel is particularly bad for that IMO) than worry about another layer which isn't ready for mass market for quite some years.