2016, Innovation on virtual personal assistants accelerates

Siri, Cortana, Google Now and still Alexa and now Jarvis, the year 2016 will have seen the rise of personal assistants in practices. 5 years after the public presentation of Siri, Google and Microsoft, Amazon, and soon Facebook entered the race. According to Gartner, 20% of interactions on smartphone will pass via a VPA (Virtual Personal Assistant) by 2019, but the cars and equipment of the House will be more controlled via an artificial intelligence.

After smartphones, PDAs seep everywhere

Who still remembers Clippy, the catastrophic assistant which Microsoft had rigged up Microsoft Office 97? Annoying and useless, this first attempt to offer a computer assistant office automation users turned short. By unveiling Siri in 2011, Apple also suffered some criticism about the usefulness of his assistant vocal, Siri eventually prevail and be copied by all of his rivals: Google unveiled Google Now in 2012, Microsoft Cortana in 2014 and then imposed to all the users of Windows 10. Finally Amazon launched Echo, a speaker connected shipping the virtual assistant Alexa in 2014. Open Alexa architecture drew to Amazon many partners who have extended the initial capabilities of his assistant. Analysts estimate that at the end of 2 years of marketing, Amazon would have sold more than 5 million copies of Alexa.A success for Amazon even if this figure remains low compared to the 200 million devices Windows 10, hundreds of millions of iOS or Android devices but this success to stimulated Google who decided to boost Google Now with Google Wizard. Cited for the first time in may 2016, this wizard who made his appearance on the smartphone app Google Hello but will also be the engine of Google Home, the alter-ego of Amazon Echo Made in Google Plex.

Mark Zuckerberg puts Facebook in the race

The year 2016 would end on this fact when Mark Zuckerberg unveiled on his Facebook project Jarvis, the name of the virtual assistant who team Iron Man armor. The wizard is clearly designed as an interface with the Smart Home facilities. The Facebook CEO did not hardware way Amazon Echo or Google Home but a solution Cloud driven from an iPhone, Facebook Messenger or the cameras connected. Jarvis will be able to fly to voice the equipment connected to the House. Its open architecture may well entice developers who already have access to many of the software implemented by Jarvis. Mark Zuckerberg is estimated to have spent hundreds of hours on Jarvis, but he thought that he would make his system auto-apprenant even if he spent 1,000 hours more. What was that an intellectual challenge for the young CEO will become in turn a product?

Translation : Bing Translator

Sources :

“Gartner Says by 2019, 20 Percent of User Interactions With Smartphones Will Take Place via VPAs”, Gartner release, December 21, 2016

“Building Jarvis”, Mark Zuckerberg post on Facebook, December 19, 2016

“Voice Is the Next Big Platform, and Alexa Will Own It”, BackChannel, December 19, 2016

“Amazon Echo sales reach 5M in two years, research firm says, as Google competitor enters market”, GeekWire, November 21, 2016

“Google unveils Google Assistant, a virtual assistant that’s a big upgrade to Google Now”, TechCrunch, Mai 18, 2016


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