The Dutch should use a speech assistant more often


Operating devices with your voice is not yet popular in the Netherlands and that is a shame. Using a voice assistant is super nice.

Read on after the ad.

Use a voice assistant more often

Although the Dutch have more and more smart devices at home, the speech assistant does not seem to be popular yet. Research office Multiscope reports that 42 percent of Dutch households now have smart devices, including thermostats, lighting and cameras.

Only six percent of the survey respondents say they use a smart speaker to control these devices. The rest prefer their smartphone or remote control. Even the tablet is used even more often to control smart devices.

The survey also shows that no less than 32 percent of the Dutch have a negative attitude towards voice control. Only 22 percent of the respondents are positive. The rest are neutral about using voice control. Too bad, because I wouldn’t want to do without it anymore and I think more people would like it if they really give it a chance.

Fear or clumsy?

Fear of speech assistants is understandable. Especially when it comes to smart speakers that can always listen to what is happening in your house. That seems scary for anyone who is even slightly aware of their privacy and what big tech companies do with their data.

Still, I don’t think that’s where the biggest problem lies. I think people just find speech assistants clumsy. You probably used a voice assistant years ago and you didn’t understand it completely, after which you had to repeat your question several times. That is too much hassle and then a button on your smartphone or on a remote control is much easier.

But a lot has changed. I used the Google Assistant bilingual in recent years, because the Dutch version was indeed always well behind. I have now switched off the English version of the Google Assistant, because the Dutch version can actually do everything I want.

Ease of use

Of course, not everything is perfect yet. Also read my column about how stubborn the smart home can be. I still run into strange things. For example, that the speaker in the wrong room answers. That I ask a question about the weather on the couch in the living room, but the Google Assistant answers from my office and I only hear some whispers.

However, the small problems cannot compete with the sheer ease of use. When I go to bed, I ask if all the lights can be turned off and everything goes out. I can control my thermostat without getting up or having anything in my hands. Not to mention the countless other questions the Google Assistant can answer.

Of course I understand that no one wants to talk to a voice assistant in public, but at home you just have to give it a try. You don’t have to get a smart speaker right away, but try the Google Assistant on your Android phone. Who knows, you might be surprised at how well it works these days.

The possibilities of the Google Assistant

Our guide explains what you can ask the Google Assistant. You can also contact companies through the Google Assistant.

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