Voice search was tipped as a major trend for 2020, but a new study by Perficient has found that usage has actually plateaued this year as typing queries remains the overwhelming favourite for general users.
More than 1,000 adults in the US were polled about their voice search and virtual assistant usage patterns, and while the tech is still fairly popular, it has not been as transformative as previously expected.
Just over half of respondents said that they would “use voice search” when asked what the most likely input was for asking questions on a smartphone.
This put it in fourth place behind typing the question into search apps, opening up a mobile browser, and typing the question into a smartphone’s search window.
Twelve months ago, the same survey found that voice was only behind mobile browsers as the prime entry point for searches.
The study also found that the education levels of users has an impact on how regularly they use voice search.
College graduates are much more likely to use voice search compared to people who have only completed “some high school and vocational studies”.
However, voice usage is down across the board compared to 12 months ago.
There are parallels between voice search and the adoption of smart speakers.
While 60m US households now have 126m smart speakers installed, according to recent data from Smart Audio Report, the tech has not been particularly revolutionary and is mostly used for playing music and weather updates.
The study by Perficient found that 56% of respondents now use smart speakers for search-related queries twice a week or less.
It noted that this may be due to frustration about the user experience.
While voice search may not have been as disruptive as first predicted yet, it is still seeing incremental growth and could become more prevalent across the next generation of devices.