An intelligent virtual assistant, as the name implies, is an in-built software in your smartphone. It interacts with humans using voice responses. Famous IVAs include Google’s Now, Apple’s Siri, Facebook’s M, and Microsoft’s Cortana.

IVAs can answer the queries of users regarding internet access. They also put on reminders for important events and help access your phone’s vital files with voice commands.

Intelligent virtual assistant technology offers features such as understanding different languages, conversing in natural language, and responding in voice or text. The technology offers experiences and personalized services and can also be configured to give information on promotions and offers, thus reducing the need of support team, ensure customer satisfaction, and help build image of the brand. It also helps organizations improve customer service functions such as front desk activities, meeting reminders, etc. They can also be used to generate frequently asked questions and to determine the level of consumer satisfaction based on the responses.

How is it Useful?

- Helps users with their searches, giving out acute responses

- Provides users helpful suggestions based on recent searches & queries

- Gathers data from previous commands and gives suitable suggestions

- Helps remember important events like birthdays or weddings

The intelligent virtual assistant market is expected to grow considerably on account of rising adoption of the technology across several applications including BFSI, healthcare, and automotive, among others. The intelligent virtual assistant (IVAs) provides critical automation assistance to various business, organizations, and individuals. They include various advantages such as smart speakers and chatbots that assist them in various tasks and recognizes and listens to the requirements of the individuals. The virtual assistants are used in various tasks such as scheduling appointments, training, and other individual as well as business activities.

On the basis of product, the smart speakers segment is the fastest growing segment in the market owing to their extensive use in commercial and residential sector. There is an increasing demand for the adoption of smart speakers in smart offices, smart homes, and automotive applications. Moreover, increasing use of smartphone has also been a major factor driving the growth of the market. Industrialization, increasing urban population, and the need for efficiency have created a need to integrate smart home appliance. These smart homes have automation system that controls various appliances such as security systems, smart thermostats, and HVAC through internet. Smart speakers connected with smart appliances help reduce the amount of work to be done.

In 2018, Chatbots accounted for the largest share of the market. Various sectors such as insurance, banking, retail, and consumer goods extensively use chatbots. Tele-callers use these chatbots in banking operations. Other text based technologies such as automated speech recognition (ASR), Text to Speech, etc. help chatbots communicate efficiently with the customers.

Factors responsible to drive the demand for the intelligent virtual assistant are automation in customer service sectors, usage of smartphones, increasing smart homes, and growing demand for home assistance. Another major factor propelling the growth of the market is increasing focus on patient engagement and the evolution of IoT. Advancement in speech and voice recognition technologies such as Amazons’ Alexa and Apple’s Siri, is another factor likely to have a positive impact on the virtual assistant market.

Due to their ability to listen to consumers’ inquiries and respond accordingly, intelligent virtual assistants are rendering everyday tasks conveniently. For instance, virtual assistants help users purchase services or a product by reducing wait time over a call for customer service. Capabilities of a virtual assistant can be tailored to suit several industries in order to improve customer experience.

Leading companies in the market are aggressively inclined toward R&D activities and are keen on innovations. Major leading companies in the intelligent virtual assistants market include Oracle Corporation; Nuance Communications, Inc.; Welltok Inc.; Microsoft; True Image Interactive Inc.; IBM Corporation; eGain Corporation; Apple Inc.; Amazon; MedRespond; Verint; Google Inc.; CodeBaby Corporation; CSS Corporation; and Next IT Corporation.