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  4. > Virtual Digital Assistants: Embedded and Third-Party Applications for Smartphones, Tablets, Smart Watches, PCs, Automobiles, Smart Home, and Enterprise Computing

A virtual digital assistant (VDA) can come in many forms, from a relatively basic text-based assistant to a full-fledged, multimodal digital assistant. VDAs are automated digital systems that assist the human user through understanding natural language in written or spoken form. The assistance given can be delivered in many ways, from enabling self-service through a backend database of frequently asked questions (FAQs) in a search tool as found on many enterprise websites, to a conversational speech-based interaction with a VDA to facilitate scheduling, calling, dictation for emails or text messages as found on many smartphones today (e.g., Assistant, Cortana, Google Now, and Siri).

VDAs represent the fusion of speech recognition, natural language processing (NLP), and artificial intelligence (AI) and hold the potential to have a transformative impact on user interfaces in the mobile, automotive, connected home, and enterprise domains, among others. Tractica’s analysis finds that the market is at a stage where the underlying technology is capable of delivering a very robust solution, but there are advancements still to be made across the board to improve digital assistants and drive further market growth and consumer acceptance. Notable areas for improvement include lower power processing, advances in NLP, seamless handover between assistants, and consumer education.

This Tractica report examines the market and technology issues surrounding VDAs for consumer devices and enterprise applications. The report covers VDAs used in the smartphone, tablet, smart watch, PC, smart home, and automotive markets as well as application segments including banking and financial services, education, government, healthcare, retail, travel, utilities, telecom, and other enterprise markets. Detailed profiles are included for 10 VDAs as well as 26 key industry players. The report also provides market forecasts for embedded and third-party VDAs for the period from 2014 through 2020, segmented by device type, industry, and world region.

Table Of Contents

Virtual Digital Assistants: Embedded and Third-Party Applications for Smartphones, Tablets, Smart Watches, PCs, Automobiles, Smart Home, and Enterprise Computing
SECTION 1 1
Executive Summary 1
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Market Drivers and Inhibitors .. 1
1.3 Technology Trends .. 2
1.4 VDA Examples 2
1.5 Key Industry Players 3
1.6 Market Forecast . 3
1.6.1 Embedded VDAs in Consumer Devices 3
1.6.2 Third-Party VDAs in Consumer Devices 3
1.6.3 VDAs in the Enterprise Market 3
SECTION 2 5
Market Issues . 5
2.1 Report Scope .. 5
2.2 End Markets . 5
2.2.1 Consumer Device Markets 5
2.2.1.1 Smartphones 5
2.2.1.2 Tablets . 5
2.2.1.3 Smart Watches 6
2.2.1.4 Smart Home .. 6
2.2.1.5 Automotive . 6
2.2.1.6 PCs 6
2.2.2 Enterprise Markets 6
2.2.2.1 Banking and Finance 6
2.2.2.2 Education 6
2.2.2.3 Government .. 6
2.2.2.4 Healthcare . 7
2.2.2.5 Retail . 7
2.2.2.6 Travel 7
2.2.2.7 Utilities . 7
2.2.2.8 Telecoms 7
2.2.2.9 Other Enterprises 7
2.2.3 Geographic Segmentation . 7
2.3 Market Overview 7
2.4 Overall Market Trends . 8
2.5 Market Drivers . 8
2.5.1 Cost Savings 8
2.5.2 Self Service .. 8
2.5.3 Customer Satisfaction . 8
2.5.4 Consumer Awareness and Desire. 8
2.5.5 Hands-Free Use . 9
2.5.6 Revenue Generation 9
2.5.7 Brand Differentiation . 9
2.5.8 Technological Advances 9
2.6 Market Barriers . 10
2.6.1 Technology . 10
2.6.2 Consumer Awareness .. 10
2.6.3 Digital Assistants Are One of Many IT Infrastructure Projects . 10
2.6.4 Cost 10
2.6.5 Ease of Use/Implementation . 11
2.6.6 Seamless Integration . 11
2.7 End Markets in the Scope of This Study . 11
2.7.1 Consumer End Markets 11
2.7.1.1 Smartphones, Tablets, and Smart Watches .. 11
2.7.1.2 Smart Home 12
2.7.1.3 Automotive .. 12
2.7.1.4 PCs . 12
2.7.2 Enterprise Use Cases .. 13
2.7.2.1 Call Centers 13
2.7.2.2 Website Solutions 13
2.7.2.3 Personal Assistant Solutions . 13
2.7.2.4 Field Worker Solutions .. 13
2.7.3 Enterprise End Markets 13
2.7.3.1 Banking and Financial Services .. 14
2.7.3.2 Education . 14
2.7.3.3 Government 14
2.7.3.4 Healthcare .. 14
2.7.3.5 Retail .. 14
2.7.3.6 Travel . 15
2.7.3.7 Utilities and Telecommunications 15
SECTION 3 . 17
Technology Issues 17
3.1 Digital Assistants in Use Today 17
3.1.1 Consumer-Focused VDAs .. 17
3.1.1.1 Assistant (Speaktoit) .. 17
3.1.1.2 Echo/Alexa (Amazon) 18
3.1.1.3 Cortana (Microsoft) . 18
3.1.1.4 Google Now (Google) 19
3.1.1.5 Siri (Apple) .. 19
3.1.2 Enterprise-Focused VDAs .. 19
3.1.2.1 Alme (Next IT) 20
3.1.2.2 AMELIA (IPsoft) 20
3.1.2.3 Atom (AVST) .. 20
3.1.2.4 Abby (Eidoserve) . 20
3.1.2.5 Nina (Nuance) 21
3.2 Underlying Technologies . 21
3.2.1 Natural Language Processing .. 21
3.3 Enabling Hardware, Components, and Software 22
3.3.1 Processors .. 22
3.3.2 Audio Components and Software 23
SECTION 4 . 24
Key Industry Players 24
4.1 Introduction . 24
4.2 Amazon 24
4.3 Apple . 25
4.4 Applied Voice and Speech Technologies, Inc. (AVST) 25
4.5 ARM Holdings .. 26
4.6 Artificial Solutions 26
4.7 CEVA . 26
4.8 Creative Virtual Ltd. 27
4.9 CX Company - SelfService Co. / PEX Life / WebCare Company .. 27
4.10 Ecreation . 28
4.11 Eidoserve Inc. (Get Abby) .. 28
4.12 Facebook . 28
4.13 Google .. 29
4.14 Imagination Technologies .. 29
4.15 Inbenta Technologies Inc. .. 30
4.16 Intel . 30
4.17 IntelliResponse Systems Inc. / [24]7 . 31
4.18 Interactions . 31
4.19 IPsoft . 32
4.20 Microsoft .. 32
4.21 Next IT Corp. . 32
4.22 Nuance Communications 33
4.23 Openstream 33
4.24 Qualcomm .. 34
4.25 Samsung . 34
4.26 Sensory 35
4.27 Speaktoit Inc. . 35
4.28 Additional Industry Participants 36
SECTION 5 . 38
Market Forecasts 38
5.1 Introduction . 38
5.2 Forecast Methodology and Assumptions 38
5.3 Total Market Forecasts 39
5.3.1 Embedded VDAs in Consumer Devices . 39
5.3.1.1 Total Shipments by End Device Market .. 39
5.3.1.2 Total Shipments by Region 40
5.3.2 Third-Party VDAs in Consumer Devices . 40
5.3.2.1 Total Downloads by End Device Market .. 41
5.3.2.2 Total Downloads By Region .. 42
5.3.3 VDAs in the Enterprise Market . 42
5.3.3.1 Total Installed Base by End Device Market 43
5.3.3.2 Total Installed Base by Region . 44
SECTION 6 . 45
Conclusions .. 45
6.1 Main Conclusions 45
SECTION 7 . 46
Company Directory .. 46
SECTION 8 . 50
Acronym and Abbreviation List 50
SECTION 9 . 52
Table of Contents .. 52
SECTION 10 .. 55
Table of Charts and Figures 55
SECTION 11 .. 56
Scope of Study 56
Sources and Methodology .. 56
Notes . 57

TABLE OF CHARTS AND FIGURES
Chart 1.1 Enterprise Web VDA Systems Delivered, Unit Shipments by Industry, World Markets:
2014-2020 . 4
Chart 5.1 Embedded VDAs in Consumer Devices, Unit Shipments by Device Type, World
Markets: 2014-2020 .. 39
Chart 5.2 Embedded VDAs in Consumer Devices, Share by Region, World Markets: 2014-2020 40
Chart 5.3 Third-Party VDAs in Consumer Devices, Unit Shipments by Device Type, World
Markets: 2014-2020 .. 41
Chart 5.4 Third-Party VDAs in Consumer Devices, Share by Region, World Markets: 2014-2020 .. 42
Chart 5.5 Enterprise Web VDA Systems Delivered, Unit Shipments by Industry, World Markets:
2014-2020 .. 43
Chart 5.6 Enterprise VDA Systems Installed Base, Share by Region, World Markets: 2014-2020 .. 44
Chart 11.1 Tractica Research Methodology .. 57
Figure 3.1 Amelia 20
Figure 3.2 Core Components for Mobile Devices Block Diagram . 22
Figure 3.3 Audio Signal Chain . 23
Table 1.1 Example VDAs and Platforms . 2
Table 2.1 Enterprise Customer Implementations . 16
Table 3.1 Example VDAs and Platforms .. 17
Table 4.1 Additional Industry Participants 36

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