The concept of virtual assistance has been in consumersâ€™ mind for more than half a century, first introduced through Sci-Fi movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) featuring virtual assistant HAL and infamous quote â€œIâ€™m sorry Dave, Iâ€™m afraid I canâ€™t do that.â€? Portrayed as a must-have feature by the consumer tech industry, our research at OvumÂ shows that digital assistants, in fact, fall short of consumer expectations and canâ€™t do what they want.
Globally, the native virtual digital assistant installed base is set exceed 7.5 billion active devices by 2021, which is more than the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate of the current world population. But fear not – Skynet, from the popular “Terminator” movies, does not feature among the leading virtual digital assistants.
The ambition of Chinese firm LeEco continues to amaze. The company, which has businesses covering the likes of online video, video production and distribution, smart devices, automobiles, and e-commerce platforms, held a high-profile product launch in San Francisco on October 19, 2016.