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Utah’s accent among the least understood by smart home devices, new study says

Can’t get your Google Home to listen? Here’s why

The pandemic brought a silver lining to University of Utah air quality researchers who suddenly had a unique opportunity to apply the methods they’d been developing for years and see how well they work.
A view of the Salt Lake City skyline. A new study from GearHungry.com  — which surveyed 3,000 smart home users — recently found how well devices understand people when they speak, specifically looking at accents. Utah residents may struggle to get their smart home devices to work because the devices can’t understand them.
Silas Walker, Deseret News

Utah residents may struggle to get their smart home devices to work because the devices can’t understand them.

A new study from GearHungry.com — which surveyed 3,000 smart home users — recently found how well devices understand people when they speak, specifically looking at accents.

Utahns’ Western accent was ranked as one of the least understood for devices across the country.

“Someone with a Western accent may say ‘Alexa, direct me to Ren’in.’ However, this could land you in the wrong place!” the study said.

Created by gearhungry View larger version

Midwestern accents ranked among the least understood as well.

General American accents were understood the highest. Whatever that means.

State- and location-specific accents were also ranked. For example, the least understandable accent was a “Mainer” — an accent from Maine. Alaskan, Northwestern, New Mexican and Chicago ranked in the top five.

Now, in case this article made you mad, let’s consider this — the study references only a “Western” accent. It doesn’t say anything about Utah’s Western accent. But it does group Utah into the Western accent family. So, you know, take this with a grain of hay or whatever.