Is the Voice Search Explosion
Tied to the Expansion of Data Centers?
by James Mongold
Let’s start with five facts that should blow your mind:
- By 2020, 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based.
- The global market for voice search devices grew 187% in Q2 of 2018.
- By 2024, the global voice-based smart speaker market could be worth $30 billion.
- Voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion by 2022.
- 55% of teenagers are using voice search on a daily basis.
If you’re still with us, and not scrambling to buy stock in a voice-search company, it’s safe to say these statistics are indicative of the fact that data centers and cloud banks aren’t going anywhere any time soon. In fact, demand for them is only going to increase.
In our daily lives, many of us have come to rely on the convenience of our smart speakers and voice assistants. And whether we’re asking Alexa or Siri for a healthy chicken soup recipe or are looking for the nearest bowling alley, very few of us stop to consider the behind the scenes technologies that are enabling our devices to deliver near-instantaneous results. Nor do we stop to wonder how many voice searches humans make each month (about one billion).
While it may seem like magic, the truth is that these capabilities are powered by data centers and artificial intelligence algorithms, in addition to the edge-computing capabilities of the devices themselves. When a user speaks a “wake word” into the device (i.e. “OK Google”), the devices actively listen for and identify keywords before shooting the queries off to the servers for an impressively speedy return result.
USAGE IS INCREASING
In 2018, 41% of Americans owned a voice-activated smart speaker, up from just 21.5% in the previous year. And by 2023, the overall usage of voice assistants is expected to triple, resulting in 8 billion voice assistants being utilized across the world.
In the next year, an estimated 2.2 million children under the age of eleven are expected to start using smart speakers. With practical applications such as homework research, or even commonplace habits like the streaming of music, the demand on the amount of information data centers will need to handle, will increase substantially.
The big players in this industry are hitting the booming trend from every angle. Google Assistant supports up to six languages now, Amazon is developing an in-house AI chip that’ll serve to produce more local queries on its device, and Google is working on massive changes to its algorithms.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR DATA CENTERS?
In short: expansion & an increased focus on alternative power sources and energy conservation.
For example, in terms of growth – while not directly attributing the rise in voice search devices as a factor, Google themselves are investing $13 billion on new data centers and expansions in just 2019. And as an indicator of their interest in renewable energy focus, they’ve already purchased the future output of 1.6 million solar panels.
But let’s talk about the “little guys” for a minute.
According to a recent survey conducted by AFCOM, the data center and IT management education company, “the average number of data centers managed will increase to 10.2 per organization over the next three years, and over three years, on average, 12.8 data centers per organizations will be renovated.”
And of those surveyed, 42% of the respondents indicated that they’re making moves towards renewable energy – primarily solar and wind.
With voice search being 3.7 x faster than typing, it’s no surprise that voice is the direction things are headed and that data centers are expanding and adapting to keep up with demand. An inefficient, energy-bleeding data center will eventually become a money-losing, dead data center.
If you’re considering an expansion, we can help you design a cost-effective build-out that includes big picture components such as racking placement and infrastructure, on down to the finer details such as environmental monitoring options, optimal floor tiles, and cable management solutions.
If a remodel is more the direction you’re headed, the first step would be to utilize our consultancy and testing services that include indoor air quality testing, surface cleanliness, contamination collection, source detection, and compliance verification. If contamination is found, we can address it immediately whether it’s zinc whisker remediation that is needed or a deep cleaning of your data center, we’ve got you covered.
When revamping your data center, you’re in the right hands – CFS has over 25 years in the data center services industry and are in a unique position to advise our clients on what steps to take to meet industry best practices and standards when it comes to the design, construction, cooling, management, and contamination remediation of their data centers.
With over 25 years in the industry and over 5,000 completed projects under our belt, we’re well equipped to help you optimize your data center with the least impact on your budget – all with zero downtime!
Whether you’re in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, or the Middle East – contact our expert data center services team today to set up a consultation and we’ll take care of you!