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by Stephen Lacey
August 02, 2018

Everyone is taking voice seriously now. After decades of real-world research and science fiction, voice assistants (also known as smart speakers) are finally sweeping the country. Nearly 20 percent of Americans over the age of 18 now own a smart speaker from Amazon or Google.

"I've actually been surprised by the speed at which this has taken off — where now these things are becoming ubiquitous in homes," said Mike Phillips, the CEO and co-founder of Sense Labs.

Phillips pioneered speech recognition in the 1990s. In the mid-2000s, he co-founded Vlingo, which developed speech recognition software that was eventually integrated into Apple's Siri. If a guy like him is surprised by the speed of adoption, take notice.

GTM Research conservatively expects that 48 million households will host voice assistants by 2023. On the other end of the spectrum, Juniper Research estimates that 70 million households will have a voice assistant by 2022.

Whatever the trajectory, it's steep.