An insight into the cosmos of voice assistants

Paul Krizsan
13 September 2018

In a world full of voice assistants, the choice is notoriously difficult. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the individual assistants and which ones are compatible with me? We have addressed these questions and created an overview of the most popular and competent voice assistants.

A brief overview

Google Assistant

Company: Google
Complexity: Android, iOS
Languages: 8
Topics: Travel, commute, search engine
Hotword: “Ok Google, Hey Google”
Features: Smart home integration, Android auto integration


Company: Amazon
Complexity: Android, iOS
Languages: 4
Topics: Shopping, Entertainment
Hotword: “Alexa” (customizable)
Features: Smart Home integration, direct shopping on Amazon


Company: Apple
Complexity: iOS
Languages: 20+
Topics: Planning, productivity, every day life
Hotword: “Hey Siri”
Features: Apple CarPlay integration


Company: Microsoft
Complexity: Android, iOS, Windows
Languages: 12
Topics: Planning, search engine
Hotword: “Hey Cortana”
Features: Integration to Alexa hardware

Our prediction for the future: Sprachassistenten und wohin führen uns diese mysteriösen Stimmen eigentlich?


Company: Samsung
Complexity: Android
Languages: 2
Topics: Planning, Shopping
Hotword: “Hi Bixby” (customizable)
Features: Smartphone control, virtual shopping


Company: Soundhound
Complexity: Android, iOS
Languages: Englisch
Topics: Planning, search engine
Hotword: “Ok Hound”
Features: super fast, excellent at complex requests


Company: Nio
Complexity: Car-Integration
Languages: Chinese
Topics: Vehicle management, daily companion
Hotword: unknown
Features: Very emotional through visualization, extension of the car

Personality and Voice

While features alone make up a small part of a good voice assistant, the personality of the virtual assistant is probably the most important part. The personality determines how committed we are to listening to the voice and how the hierarchy between human and machine is.

If the assistant is more humane, shows emotion and has as realistic a voice as possible, we tend to listen better and fulfill our wishes and requests through conversation. If the voice is tinny and clearly machine-like, we deal with the technology differently.

Our positioning of the personalities of the listed voice assistants (inspired of

The hierarchy between the user and the voice assistant can vary depending on personality: An always obeying, machine-sounding assistant is quickly regarded and treated as a will-less subordinate of the user, while a human-like personality tends to make us regard the assistant as an equal.

Due to the relevance of the personality, various voice assistants therefore also rely on visual supports, the so-called embodiment. Thereby, the voice assistant manifests itself not only in audible, but also in visual form, whether it is

We design and develop your voice assistant!

 think moto develops brand-adequate conversational user interfaces for voice assistants and chatbots and also deals with questions of visualization and embodiment of voice assistants.