Google Assistant Just Won CES 2018, and Alexa Should Be Worried

Google Assistant Just Won CES 2018, and Alexa Should Be Worried

During the media days before the kickoff of CES this week - the show floor doesn't open until Tuesday - newly announced Alexa-enabled devices ranged from classic electronics (a Hisense television, a Garmin GPS device), to cutting edge (a $1,000 pair of smart glasses). Last year, Amazon's Alexa was the big buzz, but this year, Google managed to get it's Google Assistant into dozens of gadgets and on billboards everywhere. "The number of devices that Alexa is showing up on is staggering".

One example: During the demo, Bibo Xu, a Google Assistant product manager, asked for a list of restaurants nearby, then tapped on the screen to select one of the results and bring up its location in Google Maps. Google's attendance at CES shows just how seriously it's taking digital assistance. The Show went on sale in June for $230 and the Spot in December for $130. Scott Huffman, a Google vice president, said in an interview that Assistant's main focus this year will be spreading further to mobile devices, home gadgets and cars. Information related to the commands is brought up on the touchscreen.

Personally, I think these "smart displays" are the future of Google Assistant, and for me I don't think it's going to be worth buying anything else going forward. In addition to helping you cook, the GKM9000 with built-in Google Assist, can tell you the weather, news, etc. all without the need for a smartphone.

When Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched its first smart speaker, the Echo, back in late 2014, its smart voice assistant platform was confined exclusively to its own devices.

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The market is full of awesome smart devices.

It will be interesting to see how Amazon responds to Google's aggressive moves at CES. Intelligent speakers, like Amazon's Echo and Google's Home, are "quickly becoming the core foundation of smart homes", he said.

Neither Amazon nor Google is forcing exclusive deals, hardware executives say, with the understanding that consumers may prefer a different assistant in different settings. The plan is said to starting selling more of their own products and those from Nest, and putting Google Assistant at the center of it all. When not in use, you can set it to be a digital picture frame as it displays your pictures from Google photos. It's unclear if this would be limited to Google's own offerings, like subscriptions to Google Play Music, its Spotify and Apple Music competitor, or more broadly to other vendors, as Alexa permits.

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