From home to out-of-home, understanding the evolution of voice usage

30-second summary:

  • Discover how voice technology is being embraced outside the home, with millennials leading the way in using voice assistants in public spaces like pubs, shops, and offices
  • Explore the surprising decline in privacy concerns related to voice technology as users become more reliable on their conversational assistants and gain better control over their data usage
  • Gain insights into the voice market in the US, UK, and Germany, including the level of familiarity with voice technology, recognition of popular voice assistants, and the prevalence of out-of-home voice usage
  • Learn about the growing importance of conversational technologies and the potential of synthetic media and their implications for consumer interactions
  • Explore the role of unified sonic branding and cohesive content in establishing and maintaining brand voice in the dynamic world of voice technology

During the pandemic, using voice technology became second nature within the confines of our homes. We relied on smartphones and smart speakers to manage household tasks and keep ourselves entertained daily. However, with the growth of the connected headphone market, the integration of voice assistants into car head units, and the emergence of new wearable devices, new opportunities have risen for us to stay connected to our conversational assistants outside the home.

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While some individuals may still feel uneasy about speaking out loud to their voice assistants in public settings, overall, this hesitation is gradually being overcome. This is especially true for millennial groups, who are more inclined than any other demographic to use their voice assistants in places like pubs, shops, and the office.

Surprisingly, we are witnessing a decline in concerns related to privacy and trust in using voice technology. As users become more reliant on their conversational assistants and gain a better understanding of how they can control their data usage, privacy concerns gradually diminish.

Out of home voice usage in different locations: US, UK, and Germany

In both the UK and the US, over 80 percent of individuals have some level of familiarity with voice technology, whereas in Germany, this figure stands at 62 percent. This trend remains consistent with the previous year, indicating a relatively stagnant voice market in Germany.

Among the voice assistants available, Alexa is the most widely recognized, followed by Siri and Google Assistant. This holds true across all three markets and aligns with the trends observed in 2021.

Voice usage in the US

Out-of-home voice usage has witnessed an increase in the US, with approximately 30 percent of users utilizing voice assistants daily on their mobile devices. However, the most frequent usage of voice assistants still occurs at home, either on mobile or smart speakers, compared to other locations.

Voice usage in the UK

Like the US, out-of-home voice usage has experienced growth in the UK, with around 30 percent of users incorporating voice assistants into their daily routines on mobile devices. Nevertheless, the majority of voice usage still takes place at home, either through mobile devices or smart speakers.

Voice usage in Germany

In Germany as well, out-of-home voice usage has seen a rise, with approximately 30 percent of users integrating voice assistants into their daily activities on mobile devices. However, like the US and the UK, voice usage is most prevalent within the home environment, whether through mobile devices or smart speakers.


The future of voice assistance: Unlocking the potential of the metaverse

One term that is likely to be a contender as the word of 2022 is “metaverse.” While this concept has recently gained attention, over two-thirds of consumers are already aware of it. However, only a small fraction, one in ten, claims to have a complete understanding of the metaverse and its implications.

Conversational technologies and the metaverse

The increasing developments from industry giants like Meta, Apple, Google, and Microsoft highlight the significance of conversational technologies for the success of the metaverse, or possibly multiple metaverses. Looking ahead, a third of users expect to utilize voice assistance more frequently than they currently do. This trend is reflected in Barilla’s Voice Consumer Index (VCI), which indicates a growing reliance on cellular connected devices for voice interactions. With major manufacturers enhancing the computational power of devices, scaling cloud infrastructure, and the rollout of 5G technology, the conversational metaverse is becoming increasingly feasible.

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The role of synthetic media

A crucial component of the metaverse will be engagement with synthetic media, which includes AI-generated and controlled avatars, objects, and environments. Consumer understanding of synthetic media is still in its early stages, but approximately 30 percent of users across all markets express a willingness to interact with such technology for information retrieval and assistance in making purchases.

The realm of synthetic media has reached a level of sophistication and maturity that enables the creation of believable digital recreations of humans. However, its usage by brands and marketers is still in its infancy. With consumer acceptance exceeding one-third, brands now possess a powerful tool to efficiently establish and maintain their literal brand voice across various channels, including commercials, videos, and audio content.

The importance of understanding customer journeys for brands

As expected, voice assistance usage outside the home has increased since 2021. Brands must recognize that the same principles applied to support customers on mobile devices outside the home still hold true. Context is key, and brands cannot assume that mobile usage solely implies being on the go—it can also encapsulate usage within the home. To deliver a successful experience, brands must have a thorough understanding of their customer journeys and where their audience engages with them, ensuring that the right message is delivered at the right time and place.

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With conversational assistants spanning across multiple devices, maintaining consistency becomes crucial. This consistency is achieved through unified sonic branding, cohesive content, and seamless functionality and features, allowing for a seamless and cohesive user experience regardless of the device being used.


The future of voice is promising, and the rise of voice technology will continue irrespective of the fate of the metaverse as an increasing number of people intend to use voice assistants. Brands must use synthetic media to amplify their brand voice, while also preparing for the evolving digital landscape. By embracing these advancements and understanding consumer expectations, brands can position themselves for success in the dynamic world of voice.

Nitin Dhamelia is the Global Digital & Search Marketing Manager at Barilla Group.

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