Personal Assistants

Making existing tasks easier and enabling use cases that were previously impossible

For more than three decades our primary means of controlling PCs was to type using a keyboard and move a mouse to click on specific locations on a visual display.

Starting around 2007, the addition of touch enabled the modern mobile internet: it hard to see how the smartphone and tablet industries as they exist today could possibly have developed as fast as they have, were it not for the addition of a touch-based interface.

If we think about how touch transformed mobile then it is clear that a major improvement in the ease with which we can use computer devices can catalyse global industries.

We are about to experience a similar surge of growth when voice control is added to computer devices, except that this time we are not just talking about mobile devices or even PCs plus mobile devices, but practically every conceivable human-machine interface.

This report reviews the state of the art in the personal assistant field. With profiles of all the leading players and leading-edge research activity this report provides an excellent review of where the market is today and, more importantly, what the future holds.

The report describes a wide range of detailed use cases spanning computer usage, web search, online retail, smart home and automotive to illustrate just how pervasive and powerful voice control technology will become.

 

Amazon (Echo)
Apple (Siri)
Baidu (Duer)
Cubic
EmoSPARK
Facebook (M)
Google (Now)
Hound
JIBO
Microsoft (Cortana)
Microsoft (Personal Assistant /Office Now)
Motorola (Moto hint)
Mycroft
Niki
Nina
Pepper
Samsung (S-Voice)
Sirius
Sony (Experia Ear)
Viv
Baidu
DARPA / IARPA
Google Research
IBM Watson / Sherlock
Microsoft Research
SRI International

Contents3

Executive Summary5

Introduction9

We Are Auto-compensating All The Time9

Where Is The Human-Computer Interface Today?11

Example 1: Using a computer14

Use case (i)14

Use case (ii)16

Use case (iii)16

Use case (iv)17

Use case (v)18

Use case (vi)19

Use case (vii)20

Use case (viii)21

Use case (ix)21

Example 2: Searching the web25

Example 3: Home assistant26

Extractor fan26

Oven control27

Example 4: Controlling entertainment28

Example 5: Driverless cars29

Summary30

Existing Products: Personal Assistants32

Amazon Echo34

Apple Siri36

Baidu Duer39

Facebook M... 40

Google Now42

Microsoft Cortana44

Microsoft Personal Agent/Office Now46

Samsung S Voice47

Viv48

Others49

Sony Xperia Ear/ Motorola Moto Hint49

Cubic49

JIBO50

Pepper50

EmoSPARK51

Hound51

Mycroft51

Nina51

Sirius52

Slack52

Niki52

Technology Considerations53

How Virtual Assistants Work54

How are people using Virtual Assistants?55

What are the current limitations of Virtual Assistants?56

Related Technologies58

Natural Language Processing (NLP)58

Domain Knowledge60

Local Voice Processing61

Research Projects63

Microsoft Research: Speech and Dialog Research Group63

Google Research64

SRI International64

DARPA/IARPA Programmes64

IBM Watson and Sherlock65

Baidu66

Visual Information to assist with Voice Recognition66

Future Roadmap68

Deep Personalisation68

Integration with Smart Homes68

Integration with Automotive69

Conversational Capability70

Potential Abuse of Market Power71

Perspectives on the Future Format of Virtual Assistants72

Report Highlights




  • Detailed use cases
  • Opportunity sizing
  • Leading vendors and research
  • Detailed use cases
  • Future evolution
  • Technical realization

Ordering Information

Title: Personal Assistants
Pages: 75
Updated: 10 Mar 2016
License: Single User
Format: PDF
Delivery: Email and Online.
Price: £395
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