As we see companies working together to bring voice-activated virtual assistants into more devices, it’s clear that Google has no intention of being left behind.
We’ve already seen Amazon Alexa popping up in more non-Amazon devices at CES, including being built right into a light switch — and Google is taking the same approach. The company has announced its Google Assistant will be coming to a number of speakers with “smart displays” this year, to rival the likes of Amazon’s Echo Show.
Interestingly — and unlike Amazon — Google will not be making the hardware. Rather, these displays will come from a variety of companies. Lenovo has already introduced its Lenovo Smart Display, which will arrive in the summer for $200 (8″ model) or $250 (10″ model).
Google also says Google Assistant smart display speakers will be coming from JBL, LG, and Sony. The JBL Link View and LG ThinQ View WK9 have already been announced.
The addition of these smart displays will help Google keep pace with Amazon when it comes to widespread acceptance and use of its Assistant, but the company isn’t stopping there.
A number of speaker companies have announced Google Assistant compatibility at this year’s CES. Altec Lansing has unveiled a new line of speakers with Google Assistant built right in (H/T The Verge). The company’s GVA line will feature three speakers ranging in price from $140-$200, and all of them will allow for direct use of Google Assistant.
[Read our article Security Watch: Amazon Echo Vs. Google Home.]
Google Assistant is even coming to higher-end speakers — Klipsch has introduced two new speakers with Google Assistant enabled. The One will be a $349 speaker, while The Three will clock in at $499.
Also, Sony and other brands have announced that a number of their older headphones will gain Google Assistant functionality, proving that these virtual voice assistants are going to become truly pervasive. The full list of Sony headphones “optimized for the Google Assistant” can be found here.
At this rate, it’s going to be tougher to find new electronics that don’t support at least one of the virtual voice assistants out there. These assistants will allow users to control their smart home, in addition to offering plenty of other useful features. Yes, there are privacy concerns, but it does feel like this is an unstoppable tide in tech.