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Apple's HomePod smart speaker. Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Smart speakers aren't just collecting dust on kitchen counters. More than 75% of smart speaker owners cited an increase in using voice-assisted technology in the past year, according to a new study from Adobe Analytics.

Why it matters: Despite the technology’s big brother persona, the study shows people are becoming more comfortable with incorporating voice assistants into their everyday lives. It also suggests that both the current boom in smart speaker purchases and predictions for big future growth are happening because consumers are learning that the devices can be used for more than just weather updates.

  • The study, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers, showed only 8% of owners reported they almost never used the devices.
  • Nearly 3 out of 4 smart speaker owners reported they use voice assisted technology at least daily.
  • The most common voice activities are asking for music (70%) and the weather forecast (64%).
  • About one-third of users are completing less simple tasks via smart speakers like phone calls, smart-home commands or ordering items to purchase.

Looking ahead: The study cites 79% of smart speakers are purchased in Q4 for the holiday shopping season. Also, 23% of non-owners said they plan to buy a smart speaker device for themselves.

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.

4 hours ago - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing a face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% has received at least one dose.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

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