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Why Alexa and Siri Have a Leg Up on Google Assistant

April 28, 2017

 

"Ok, Google"

 

Dry. Plain. Like you are talking to an inanimate object with no personality. 

 

OK, you are, but you don't want too. The reality is most people do tend to anthropomorphize objects. We call our cars or boats a he or she, others name their homes. We want the same for our digital assistant. Ironman had Jarvis. Apple has Siri. Amazon has Alexa. Names--real names.

 

 

Except for Google. Google has you say "OK, Google" or the variant "Hey, Google". Functionally, it works. That isn't the issue. The issue is I want it to feel like I am talking to someone. How many times have you skipped past automated help lines just to talk to a human? 

 

Amazon gets that. There is an article today from Techcrunch that talks about how they are adding more personality to their famous digital assistant. I think this will be one of those features that isn't really blatant but will lead to easier adoption.

 

I've been surprised by customers (including my wife!) who quickly became adapted to using voice interface to turn on lights, get the weather or even send a text. While awkward on the first day, by the end of the second day they adapt. After a couple of weeks actually using the manual method to turn on a light almost seems cumbersome.

 

Personalizing the smart home device and making it seem more like a true assistant will increase that feeling and adoption. Google seems to be ignoring this by insisting we adapt the way we want to do something to fit their assistant. I want the assistant to adapt to how I want to use it.

 

Amazon and Apple are ahead on that point and Google seems to be missing the boat. Time will tell who wins out, but my money is on the one who caters to their customers.

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