Exploring older adults’ perception and use of smart speaker-based voice assistants: A longitudinal study

Sunyoung Kim, Abhishek Choudhury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Thanks to their conversational capabilities, smart speaker-based voice assistants are gaining attention for their potential to support the aging population, though the empirical evidence is still scarce. This paper aims to obtain empirical evidence on older adults' experiences with a voice assistant. We especially focused on how their perception and use change over time as they progress from novice to more experienced users through a longitudinal field deployment study. We deployed Google Home devices in the homes of twelve older adults aged 65 and above and studied their use for sixteen weeks. Results show that the benefits our participants perceived have incrementally changed from enjoying simplicity and convenience of operation in the early phase of the study to not worrying about making mistakes and building digital companionship as they got used to using it. Results also show that participants confronted several challenges that evolved from the unfamiliarity with a voice assistant in their first interactions to coping with the functional errors due to limited speech technology as they got used to using it. Based on the results, we discuss design implications that could foster better user experiences with a voice assistant among older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106914
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


  • Longitudinal study
  • Older adults
  • Smart speaker
  • Voice assistant


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