Although Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) introduction of Alexa more than three years ago was quickly followed by other companies -- namely Google and Apple -- looking to also capitalize on the new fervor for smart speakers, the company continues to dominate the marketplace, despite a new study that revealed it was significantly worse than similar devices.
The New York-based digital agency 360i released a new study that found Google Home to be more effective than Amazon Alexa in responding to thousands of questions in different categories. Using proprietary software, study participants asked each device the same thousands of questions about finance, travel, automotive and retail and gauged the accuracy of the different responses.
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The Google Home emerged victorious in each round: For travel, it responded correctly six times more than Alexa; for retail; it answered correctly five times more frequently; for finance, it responded five times more accurate; and for automotive, it provided a correct answer three times more often.
Each device tends to respond differently to questions, 360i President Jared Belsky told FOX Business. For instance, if asked about where to purchase hiking shoes, the Echo would likely direct the user to Amazon.com, whereas the Home would find a nearby, local store that sells the item.
“We’re still learning, and the software is still learning,” he said. “But that’s a thesis we believe to be true. Each technically, to some degree, is playing off its heritage. Google has a two-decade heritage categorizing the world’s data.”
Over the course of the past six months, the researchers found that both devices are getting smarter and smarter, with the ability to answer 8% more questions correctly. As far as which is the better purchase, Belsky said it’s contingent on the consumer.
Depending on the version, an Amazon Echo, which utilizes the Alexa voice feature and is similar to Google Home, costs between $39 and $150. A Google Home costs between $79 to $142.
When it comes to smart devices, Alexas are much more ubiquitous than Google Homes at a nearly 70% market share dominance. According to estimates by the online publication Voicebot.ai, Amazon has sold more than 20 million Echo devices. Conversely, Google sold roughly 4.6 million Homes. In part, that’s because of the hyped market awareness of Amazon, including a Super Bowl ad that featured a number of big-name celebrities, Belsky said.
But, he denoted that while there are more Amazon Echo devices, the technology behind Google Home is actually more pervasive, since it’s included in the Android phone.
“You really have to think about how else are people interacting with voice,” Belsky said. “Google assistants are supported by 100 million devices. You can’t just think about the cylinder. You have to think beyond the cylinder.”