, Inc. (AMZN) will sell approximately 24.9 million of its Echo speakers this year, according to research firm eMarketer. The firm predicted that there will be 35.6 million active users for smart speakers by the end of this year and stated that Amazon is expected to garner 70.6 percent of the overall market for the device. Alphabet Inc. (GOOGsubsidiary Google's Home devices are expected to be a distant second with an overall market share of 23.8 percent. (See also: Amazon's Alexa Adds More Integrations.)

The market for smart assistants has exploded since the launch of Amazon's smart speakers. According to some estimates, the overall market is expected to be worth $12.24 billion by 2024. In addition to Amazon and Google, other companies that have released or are in the race to develop smart speakers include the likes of Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SSNLF). For tech behemoths, the attraction of smart speakers lies in the promise of discovering data and user preferences that, in turn, will enable them to customize and personalize future products and services. (See also: Apple Is Developing Echo Competitor.)

Amazon has not disclosed sales numbers for its smart speakers. However, estimates put that number at 8.2 million as of this January. This means that eMarketer expects a significant bump in sales for the device this year. The research firm's estimates are not surprising considering that Amazon has aggressively ramped up its efforts to develop skill sets and traction for Echo speakers, which feature a smart assistant known as Alexa. The technology is being increasingly incorporated into consumer electronics appliances being manufactured by mainstream companies. The Seattle-based company has open-sourced the hardware and software platforms underpinning Alexa to enable greater innovation in its ecosystem. It has also inked partnerships for research using Alexa with universities around the country and touted the device's music-playing capabilities. (See also: Amazon Releases Alexa Development Kit.)

Google's Home devices, which were introduced last year, recently introduced multi-user support. A Reuters report states that analysts have found Google Home's technology to be superior to that of Alexa and that its brand awareness is already equal to 80 percent of Alexa's. (See also: Google Home Now Able to Recognize Different Voices.)