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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

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

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