Editor’s note: Julia Görnandt is country manager, Germany, at international research firm SKIM, Berlin. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the title, “’Hallo Google, Alexa, Magenta: How's Voice Changing German Consumer Behavior?’” 

Voice technology and artificial intelligence were all the buzz at IFA, Germany’s largest consumer electronics show held in September. Established players launched new products in Europe and there were a few surprise offerings from new market entrants.

Google introduced its premium smart speaker – the Google Home Max – here in Germany, along with a bilingual voice assistant feature that responds to queries in English and German interchangeably. And telecom giant Deutsche Telekom introduced plans for its own smart speaker activated with the magic words “Hallo Magenta." This introduction is the first smart speaker coming from a German company and includes Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa.

As I was setting up our new office in the heart of Berlin, I reflected on how much technology has disrupted consumer behavior from the time I grew up here. Is voice all hype in Germany? How will German consumers embrace these AI technologies? What are the implications for brands? 

My team and I recently set out to answer these questions in Germany, and also in the U.S. and U.K. We explored voice technology usage and awareness from the consumer and brand perspective. 

Here I’m sharing the Germany insights, which we unveiled at ESOMAR Congress 2018 in Berlin.

Despite voice-enabled devices being introduced later in Germany than in the U.K. and the U.S., the German market has caught up quickly. The majority (88 percent) of Germans are familiar with voice technology as it exists in smartphones, smart speakers and other devices. One-in-two German consumers reported having ever used voice technology.

Most have used voice technology on t...