It appears a lot more Americans are getting acquainted with Alexa.
The number of Americans using voice-enabled speakers like Amazon Echo at least once a month more than doubled from last year, says a forecast from research firm eMarketer.
More than one-quarter of smartphone owners in the U.S., 60.5 million Americans, will use a virtual assistant like Alexa, Apple's Siri, or Microsoft's Cortana at least once a month.
"Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement," said Martín Utreras, eMarketer's vice president of forecasting, in a statement. "Also, as prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to increase adoption of these devices."
Millennials are driving interest in voice assistants, with more than one-third of them using the technology this year, says eMarketer.
The Echo, which supports Amazon's Alexa digital voice assistant, is the clear frontrunner in the space, commanding a 70% share of the speaker market. Nearly 24% of the market is owned by Google's Home speaker, which runs its own branded Assistant. However, Google's share is expected to grow over the next several years.
Digital voice assistants are viewed as the next frontier for tech companies. Recently, Samsung unveiled its own digital assistant, Bixby, which rolled out with the Galaxy S8 smartphone. Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly working on its own home speaker to support Siri.
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