From data
To meaning

During Black Friday and for the Christmas holidays the favorite gifts were voice assistants, other than toys and jewelry.If you received a tech gift on the last holidays, chances are it was a voice assistant. In the United States, the total number of intelligent speakers in circulation rose to around 119 million: 78% growth compared to 2018. (NPR and Edison Research).

Even in Italy, we have brought these tools into our homes which will perhaps become part of our daily lives and habits.

CELI has carried out a research together with KKIEN to understand how Italians interact with voice assistants and smart speakers. We share the main take-outs.


1) They make life easier

For almost two thirds of the interviewees, life changed after introducing a voice assistant into the daily routine: after all smart speakers help people to increase multitasking activities.

In particular:

  • they allow to carry out daily activities faster than other devices that require to use your sight and touch
  • allow to get answers and information immediately
  • they make routine tasks much easier

We think of those who love to cook, have dirty hands and need to know how many milliliters are 3 cups. Or those who want to cuddle their child in their arms by asking Alexa to play a lullaby.


2) They are used every day

In a short period of time, smart speakers have become part of many people’s routine. Some of the typical daily activities, such as checking travel times and setting reminders for purchases to be made later, are now carried out by talking to a voice assistant. In fact, 77% of the interviewees declare to use their smart speaker one or more times a day.


3) They offer a more human relationship with technology

People interact with their voice assistants as if they were human. They say “please”, “thank you” and even “sorry”. However, they are still perceived as an appliance or an intelligent machine, but for 17.2% it is even a butler or family member.

4) They are a new channel for brands

People who own smart speakers welcome brands as part of the experience. And they are open to receiving information relevant and relevant to their lifestyle.

The most popular applications are those related to music or weather forecast (17%). The ability to shop (1.7%) is still low, consistent with the still unripe life cycle of these devices.

According to an Amazon press release from last October, therefore one year after its launch on the Italian market, there are more than 3,000 Alexa skills produced by third-party developers. A growth that recalls that of the Web in the early 90s or that of the mobile apps of the 10s. Numbers that are interesting but that give hope for further growth, making voice skills a new territory to be “colonized” as soon as possible.


5) They are in the center of the house

Most users put smart speakers in the living room, so that the whole family can access the device quickly and easily.

One of the aspects on which manufacturers are focusing a lot is that of home automation, that is the possibility of controlling small or large appliances connected via wifi via voice assistant. Light bulbs that light up when you enter the house and go out when you say goodnight, smart thermostats that can be turned on as soon as you leave work to reduce consumption, roller shutters that rise or fall with a command and voice remote control for smart TV are examples of applications that may seem superfluous but which are spreading rapidly thanks to the push of companies such as Ikea, Philips, LG, Samsung, Legrand / BTicino.

IDC has indeed estimated double-digit growth for smart home devices by 2022.


Voice is the most natural and effective tool for interaction between people. Now that technology is mature, it is possible to exploit it to automate work processes and make each activity more efficient and organized. Voice applications, Alexa skills or Google actions, such as those developed by CELI, speed up internal processes and ensure that you focus your energy on core business activities and fruitful and effortless interaction with the customer.

Our intent is to improve internal processes in companies with high quality, fully customized tools. CELI helps companies manage complex and constantly evolving contexts through the creation of interfaces with high conversational capacity, but also thanks to activities such as speech analytics, voice search and the development of specific voice commands.

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Francesca Alloatti, Computational Linguist
Matteo Amore, Computational Linguist
Mariella Borghi, Marketing Manager
Riccardo Tasso, Software Engineer
Raffaella Ventaglio, Senior Software Architect

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