Google Assistant shouts down Alexa at CES

Lloyd Doyle
January 13, 2018

Google Assistant's fingerprints are all over the CES 2018 show floor, but it's especially easy to see on a few new Android Things-powered devices.

The smart speakers have the potential to disrupt other entertainment devices in the home. A smart home security camera produced by Angree, crowd-funded in 2015 and going on sale in March, turns away when you arrive home. Lenovo's Smart Display, for instance - our Best IoT/Smart Home award victor this year - pairs the AI technology with two different sizes of touchscreen, aiming to conquer a place on the kitchen counter that until now might have been home to an Amazon Echo Show. The company's voice-based digital assistant has been rolled out to millions of smart devices since its launch and will be seen in even more products this year including smart speakers, smart displays and Android Auto, among other things. When not in use, you can set it to be a digital picture frame as it displays your pictures from Google photos.

Ultimately, smart home gadgets are here to help simplify and streamline our lives, understanding voice commands instead of presses of buttons and taps of applications.

Over in the kitchen, LG showcased its Easyclean oven and Quadwash dishwasher which talk to each other to automatically select the best wash cycle for your dirty dishes depending on the recipe you used.

It's hard to gauge all the important trends at CES if you don't roam the show floor (I leave that to my colleague Dean Takahashi).

An assortment of speakers and sound bars naturally showed off Alexa integration, but so did desktops, laptops, phones, routers, TVs, cars, headphones, washers, dryers, refrigerators, light switches, smoke alarms, toilets, and even exhaust vents.

Both Smart Displays will be available starting this summer. Both features can be controlled simply by speaking to the loo. The Alexa integration in the United States will be available via a software update through Acer Care Centre, but its wider availability is expected for sometime in the mid of 2018.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the smartest of them all?

Amazon's presence was decidedly less intense, but the company did a solid job keeping up in terms of partner announcements. Vuzix is selling some dev kits now, for around $US1,800 ($2,286), but the company is hoping to bring the price down to around $US1,000 ($1,270) before they become more widely available in late 2018 and early next year. If you're a bit confused by this, that's understandable. The device, which looks like a moving two-tone grey pillow, has been created to mimic the breathing of a sleeping human.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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