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Google mulls Assistant shopping in war with Alexa

14 January 2018

While it may quote 400 million devices with Assistant access, most are Android smartphones rather than the smart speakers or other devices that we've seen Alexa proliferate on.

On the show floor, it smoothly scrolled through demo applications popping up info in ways we're used to seeing on our phones or through Android Auto.

In what's becoming an annual tradition, the CES electronics trade show, being held this week in Las Vegas, has brought a flurry of announcements of new gadgets built to work with the Seattle company's voice-activated Alexa software. The 8-inch or 10-inch display is flanked by a speaker grill on the left side (or bottom if you place it in portrait), and the back is either faux Bamboo or a simple grey. 30% of smart speaker owners said that the device replaced some of the time they spent with their TV and 71% of people use the devices to listen to news and podcasts. After Google did not grant permission for Amazon's Echo Show to present YouTube content, Google thought it would be a good idea to make their assistant able to have YouTube content. Regarding the device specifications LG hasn't spoken a lot. Google's also said to be hammering out a strategy for buying products and services via the Google Assistant. This portable device is powered by the latest generation of Intel processors and also includes graphics cards made by AMD as well as Intel, advanced enough to play modern video games such as "Rez Infite", which is a virtual reality title.

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But as we've seen at CES, manufacturers think the market is hungry for more smart stuff. Both Lenovo and LG announced touchscreen-enabled smart speakers with Google Assistant on-board, which is likely to make up for Google not making a Google Home with a display yet.

LG Electronics Inc chose Google for televisions it unveiled this week, but opted for Alexa in refrigerators because of its online shopping functionality. When not in use, you can set it to be a digital picture frame as it displays your pictures from Google photos.

"One simple command like "Bixby I'm on my way home", [and] you're setting your air conditioner to the right temperature, my garage door is going to open, I turn my lights on to what I want".

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Neither Apple Inc's assistant Siri nor Microsoft Corp's Cortana are now available on a speaker with a tablet-like display.

And the market for smart devices is exploding, even with warnings that "the internet of things" is notoriously insecure.

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Google mulls Assistant shopping in war with Alexa