Even before computers became a staple of our daily lives, we’ve dreamed of a more natural and intuitive way to interact with them.
Smart speakers and voice assistants are fundamentally changing the way we engage with technology. Talking to a computer could be a paradigm shift comparable to how we now use tapping and swiping our mobiles.
And this change is happening fast. No longer a gadget for early adopters, Edison Research estimates ownership of these devices tripled in the last year alone with almost half of early adopters owning more than one.
We use virtual assistants that exist in our pockets, in car dashboards, and even on our wrists. But what do we do with these devices once the novelty has worn off? What new habits will we develop and how will those routines influence our media diets?
Smart speaker owners report that they are becoming their primary method for listening to audio, whether it be news, music or podcasts. The Guardian is continually investing and innovating in audio with initiatives such as the launch of its new daily podcast, Today in Focus. With audio experiencing a renaissance that looks set to stay, the smart speaker may well play a growing role in our daily lives.
The Guardian has a history of digital innovation in journalism and working with emerging technologies to create immersive and impactful storytelling through new media such as virtual reality. Now we are bringing that same experimental approach to the conversational interface.
In partnership with Google, our dedicated multidisciplinary team of journalists, developers and designers will create and test innovative voice-driven audio experiences for the Google Assistant.