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Owners of smart speakers use phones less, says survey

Commentary: A new survey from Accenture might offer worrying conclusions for Apple and Samsung.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

The salt shaker and the garbage can. Otherwise known as Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Are you part of the Resistance?

Do you refuse to allow a Google Home or an Amazon Echo into your life? 

Or are you so attracted to the idea of talking to inanimate objects that you've got these things scattered all over your house?

I ask because consultancy Accenture has just released a survey that might disturb those for whom the phone means so much and are a touch behind in the smart speaker stakes. 

You know, the likes of Apple and Samsung.

The survey examined human feelings around several new areas of technology.

One question, however, asked whether those who had bought smart speakers were using their phones for fewer activities.

Stunningly, 66 percent of the 2,271 people who answered this question agreed they were or strongly agreed. 

More precisely, 64 percent said they used phones less for entertainment services, 58 percent said they made fewer online purchases on their phones, and 56 percent said they used their phones less for general searches.

Some might think these results have a ring of duh about them. 

You get a new device that does some basic things, so, being a primitive human, you just shout across the room. 

Moreover, it isn't as if the digital assistants on phones are especially well honed. Seriously. A word that, when I say it in my living room, Siri immediately mistakes for her name.

Neither Apple nor Samsung immediately responded to a request for comment. 

Is this a reason for panic among companies that are currently more phone-oriented? Perhaps.

Apple says it will finally release its HomePod speaker this year. But I imagine that it will be less of an Alexa-style factotum and more of a music device.

As for Samsung, it's also said to be releasing its own smart speaker this year

Moreover, it's spending CES trying to show off its Bixby voice assistant -- not universally popular on its phones -- on items beyond phones. You've always wanted to talk to your fridge, right?

Research suggests there are up to 19 million Amazon Echos already out there. Accenture projects that by the end of this year, 37 percent of US households will have at least one smart speaker. Moreover, its research showed a slightly greater consumer satisfaction level with smart speakers than phones. 

Personally, I find the current smart speakers so painfully unattractive that I wouldn't like to see one in my house, never mind talk to one.

The HomePod at least looks like a decent house guest. I'd hope that Samsung, having significantly upgraded the design of its phones over the years, might also offer something visually arresting.

Ultimately, Accenture says, form factors will matter less and "engaging blended experiences" will matter more.

Yes, to order a Lyft, we'll just howl at the moon and assume that our ride will arrive in two minutes.