Tag Archives: Age bias

Voice Assistants-Does Age Matter? (MetaFAQs)

Age by Recency of Voice Assistant Use

Age matters when it comes to Voice Assistant use, and it’s overly simplistic to say that they’re mostly being used by younger adults. Yes, there’s a strong age difference between active Voice Assistant users, former users, and those who’ve never even given one a try. And yes, otherwise-connected adults that have never used a Voice Assistant are older than active users by a decade. The average age of a Connected Adult who has never used a Voice Assistant is 51.7 years. By comparison, the average age for active Voice Assistant users, those who’ve used one at least once within the last 90 days, is 41.6 years.

However, in this time of experimentation and users finding their own voices, younger adults are disproportionately former Voice Assistant users. They used a Voice Assistant within the last year and haven’t used one since.

This is based on results from the MetaFacts Voice User Profile (VUP) survey conducted in February 2018. The results report on active usage, which is a practical measure to contrast with the promised potential of what Voice Assistants may or may not be able to do.

Our TUP 2017 results show a similar pattern – the novelty effect. Older Millennials have the highest active Voice Assistant usage rates. This group of 28-36 year-olds also shows the steepest dropoff between recent and less-recent use. This novelty effect is also prevalent among younger millennials (age 18-27) as their usage rate drops.

Voice Assistant Usage Recency by Age


As a long-time tech analyst, I’ve seen many technologies go through fits and starts as they either reach broader adoption or settle back into their niches. Apple’s Macs had PlainTalk 25 years ago, yet the voice recognition and speech synthesis system never reached widespread regular use. Still, the earliest adopters found ways to use these early Voice Assistants, such as dictation. Apple’s Siri arguably brought usable Voice Assistants into handy use for a much broader audience. The most-recent entries from Amazon and Microsoft to Google have brought a lot of heat and light to the category, although it’s still too early to declare Voice Assistants as be mainstream. There are many challenges ahead for makers of Voice Assistant systems and listening devices. It’s hard enough to encourage users to experiment with a Voice Assistant. It’s even harder to get users to continue using a technology after the novelty wears off. Many who have tried have given up, disappointed or daunted that their Voice Assistant hasn’t lived up their, er, its words.

Related research results

The MetaFacts Voice User Profile includes other related analysis, including:

  • The subjects Voice Assistant users ask about: weather, scheduling, music, entertainment, home automation, and more
  • Which Voice Assistant systems are being actively used, on which platforms, and which segments they are attracting
  • Which listening devices are being actively used – from Smart Speakers to Smartphones and Headsets
  • Where Voice Assistant users will – and won’t – do their talking: in restaurants, driving, while walking, and many other locations and settings
  • How well – or poorly – users experience their Voice Assistants, and how performance metrics vary by system and listening device
  • Reasons given why consumers have never used a Voice Assistant, as well as why former users aren’t currently active users


The information in this MetaFAQ is based on a survey of 7,410 online adults in mid-2017 as part of the MetaFacts Technology User Profile (TUP) study and 525 online adults during February 2018 as part of the MetaFacts Voice User Profile (VUP) study. The TUP and VUP study universes included a representative sample of online adults, with active Voice Assistant users, former Voice Assistant users, as well as consumers who have never used a Voice Assistant. Current TUP subscribers can obtain the results of this newest research at a discount. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to VUP or TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Tech Employees Are Youngest

Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

Employees in technology roles or industries are strikingly younger than employees in other US employment roles and industries.

tech employees by age 180110_1350

As released in our most recent wave of Technology User Profile – TUP 2017 US – our research shows that employees in either technology-focused roles or in technology-oriented industries are much younger than the average American employee. Also, those employed in both technology roles and technology industries are youngest of all.

Just over half (51%) of employees in tech roles within a tech industry are age 25-34, the highest concentration of younger adults, with a median age of 34. Employees in tech industry with non-tech roles also have a high concentration of younger adults, with 39% being age 25-34 and median age of 35. By comparison, those in a tech role in a non-tech industry have the highest concentration of employees age 35-44, making up 35% of employees, with a median age of 36. Outside of tech roles or industries, age 25-34 only make up 25% of employees, with a median age of 39.

For purposes of this analysis, we categorized tech roles as those in IT/IS (Information Technology/Information Systems), Specialist, or Contractor/IT Consultant. Tech industries include Information (Publishing, Telecommunication), and Professional, Technical, and Scientific Services.


The information in this MetaFAQ is based on the most recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP) – the TUP 2017 waves into the US. Current TUP subscribers can tap into these and additional similar results about adults in the UK, Germany, China, and India. For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Demographics & Econographics, Market Research, MetaFAQs, TUP 2017

Is there an age skew for using refilled printer ink? (MetaFAQs)

Who refills their printer ink, or buys refilled toners or cartridges?

Younger adults use refilled ink more often than older adults, with the practice being strongest among printer users age 18-34. In fact, nearly half of printer users using refilled ink are under age 35, and among these younger adults, refill usage rates exceed one in three.

In our other TUP research, we’re finding that while overall printing levels have declined over the last five years, certain segments of graphically-oriented users are printing more than ever. Also, subscription ink replacement plan usage is growing.

About this MetaFAQ

In addition to profiling the spending, demographics, activities, and devices of printer users, many other related answers are part of the TUP service, available to paid subscribers. One section of TUP 2016 which includes extensive results about printers, printer users, and printing activities – the TUP 2016 Printers chapter. This is one of more than a dozen chapters in the entire TUP 2016 study.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from the most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

Age Skew for using Refilled Printer Ink

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Filed under Consumer research, MetaFAQs, Printers, TUP 2016

Which buyers are bucking the recession with tech shopping plans? Where is the consumer demand?

Also see another recent TUPdate: Printing Mobile Phone Photos: The New Frontier

Which buyers are bucking the recession with tech shopping plans?

A TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts

Recession or not, what people around the world are hungering for—and apparently planning to shell out money for—is HDTVs. In the 27th annual Technology User Profile survey, HDTVs were on the top of the wish list in 14 of 16 countries among 30,889 respondents surveyed about 76 different technology products and services. Surprisingly, this HDTV interest reached uniformly across gender and included both the younger and older, unlike operating systems upgrades such as Microsoft’s Windows 7 or Apple’s Snow Leopard.

But much as they want their MTV in hi-def (or SunTV in India or Sky World News in the UK), they also put entirely practical products high on their lists, and these sometimes even stole priority from HDTVs.

The intensity of the desire for HDTVs varied, peaking in the developing nations. Globally, an average of 27 percent of online PC adults were making plans that include an HDTV, but the percentage rose to 53 percent in Brazil, and was 40 percent among China’s Urbanites, India’s Urbanites, and Russia, and 39 percent of Mexico’s Urbanites. On the other hand, only 12 percent of the Dutch and 16 percent of the Japanese were making such plans, indicating a saturated market or jaded TV watchers.

The two countries where HDTVs did not top the list were China and India. In China, the number one choice was those wireless keyboard-mouse combos. These practical devices were desired by 43 percent of the respondents, pushing HDTVs (which 40 percent planned to purchase) into second place. In India, meanwhile, everyone seemed to be planning to buy everything, pushing HDTVs (40 percent) into sixth place, behind those ubiquitous wireless keyboard/mouse combos (49 percent), digital camcorders with memory cards (42 percent), wireless mice by themselves (42 percent), wireless keyboards by themselves (41 percent), and additional RAM for their long-suffering PCs (40 percent).

The interest in upgrading operating system software varied surprisingly by gender/age group. In percentage terms, the group with the strongest interest is males age 18 to 24. However, looking more deeply, this group’s much stronger interest in so many other tech product outweighs these plans so an operating system upgrade is ranked 28th among these youngsters and ranked 6th among males 55+ and 12th among males 45 to 54.

In case you were wondering, U.S. respondents did list HDTVs as numero uno, but still only 19 percent wanted one. Number two on the list was additional RAM (14 percent), third was a digital camcorder with a memory card (13 percent), fourth was that wireless keyboard/mouse combo (12 percent) while fifth was their very own DVR/PVR digital/personal video recorder (12 percent). This may be so they can time-shift and not have to watch TV commercials.

Speaking of DVRs/PVRs, which give the users additional control over their entertainment, that device was number two on the list in Australia, Germany, England, and Japan, number three in Italy, and number four in the Netherlands and Spain. Globally, it was ranked number 8.

The wild card among products appeared to be the arguably obsolete analog camcorder. Globally, only 9 percent of respondents admitted to planning to buy one, but the rate shot to 31 percent in China, 28 percent in India, and 20 percent in Saudi Arabia. On the other extreme, demand amounted to only 1 percent in the Netherlands and Japan.

About this TUPdate

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry topics. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information about the syndicated research service, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Consumer research, Market Research, TUP 2009, TUPdate