One of the fastest growing audiences for virtual assistants isn't Millennials or Gen Z, as many would predict, it's actually adults aged 55 and over.
These adults are using smart speakers and virtual assistants for everything from medication management and accident prevention to keeping in touch with their families. But an intriguingly personal form of virtual assistance is now making a dent in the AI market: hearing aids.
When someone says "smart speaker," most think "Alexa".
It's a reasonable association since many consider Amazon Alexa the glowing face of voice technology; a crown earned for its relentless progress in the last few years. But Google Assistant is catching up, stepping on Alexa's heels while Samsung's Bixby power-walks a few miles behind.
And Cortana? Well, Cortana is hobbling along with no real intent of running. (Let's spare Siri from the race altogether.)
But Microsoft could jump to the front with its latest voice-first innovation. One that could change how we interact with voice-enabled devices in the future; particularly in public.
"One evening, my grandma fell and broke her hip. She was lying on a cold floor in sheer agony from 7 pm until 7 am the next day...and we just didn't know about it."
This is what pushed Kelvin Summoogum to leave his job as a digital advisor and become the tech entrepreneur behind miiCARE – a London-based startup focused on senior healthcare.
From blasting your favorite tunes to turning down the AC, voice assistants have unlocked a whole new world of blissful convenience. You can ask them to control your home devices, tell jokes, or even serenade you with the best of AI beatboxing. For most of us, the possibilities are seemingly endless.