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Press Consumer report revealed today from voice technology studio Vixen Labs -shows that parents are the most advanced adopters of voice-activated technology across all sectors with 48% of parents already using voice technology to make purchases. Voice technology tools can help manage family overwhelm caused by the pandemic, says psychologist. The UK research about the usage and attitudes towards the technology from Europe’s leading voice technology studio, Vixen Labs, also showed:

  • 86% of parents currently use voice-activated technology to search for information about products and services.
  • 81% of parents are actively using the technology to search information about brands.
  • People with children are braver with voice technology, being the user group most likely to branch out from the most common user commands (playing music and asking about the weather), with 48% using voice to make purchases.

What’s more, the research showed a strong appetite from the family market for adoption of future use cases of voice technology, with 67% parents showing interest in developments to come. The most popular potential future use case amongst parents is ‘playing TV or Films’ (66%) and more than half parents say they will quite likely or definitely will play audiobooks.

Health Psychologist MSc and Mental Health Advocate Kimberly Seviour says: “We should consider the new environment and context that’s come out of the pandemic. Through sudden working-from-home along with homeschooling and childcare for some, there are large and instant behavioural changes which have taken place almost universally from before.” 

Psychologists agree that most of our regular routines are habitual and we don’t consciously think about them which saves our ‘thinking brains’ for other activities. Now, when routines have been disrupted by the pandemic, parents are trying to figure out new ways of family set-ups. Vixen Labs research indicates that there may be a place for voice-activated technology to step in as the new ‘helper’ for parents and could play a growing role in reducing stress in family homes.

Seviour continues: “Tools like Alexa can help manage that overwhelm – the timers and reminders can be a godsend for when people lose track of time, forget about different tasks and leave dinner on the stove to burn, and they can remind us to take breaks, manage work-life balance and set healthy routines at home. Instant access to certain information can be less mentally taxing than via phones and online searches and kids can ask questions too. We can ask to play mood-boosting music that we like without having to manually search for it. Reducing that cognitive load helps free us for other things and reduces stress.”

 James Poulter, CEO of Vixen Labs says: “In 2019, there were 7 million families with children under 14 in the UK. So if ‘only’ 40% of parents are willing to break the barriers and start using voice technology for some of the less traditional tasks like financials, that’s a huge market potential for all brand owners. Our research shows that the appetite is there and brands have a unique opportunity to cater to parents’ needs and help create new, less stressful family routines.”

Privacy remains the biggest barrier for wider adoption of voice-activated technology. “We found that 37% of all consumers don’t trust voice-activated technology and 57% of users are concerned about the privacy of their data when using the technology. Yet our research shows that parents, likely impacted by the pandemic, are most likely to overcome these barriers. This is also a trend we see in conversations with our clients. If technology giants work with consumer brands to find a way to help parents overcome privacy concerns, they will win over a huge and loyal audience.” 

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