GOOGLE HAS been unmissable at CES thanks to banners draped across ceilings with it's "OK Google" wake-word. So it's no surprise that there have been a number of launches involving its answer to the market-dominant Amazon Alexa.
Sure enough, four companies have announced that they are bringing a with-screen Google Assistant device ahead of any official Google Home device.
JBL, Lenovo, Sony and LG are all making smart displays similar to (but hopefully less fugly than) the Amazon Echo Show which are, effectively let's face it, static tablets but with oh-so-much more.
Take the JBL Link View for example. An 8in splashproof touchscreen with a 5MP front camera for video calling, WiFi and Bluetooth, Chromecast capabilities and of course being JBL, a hefty pair of 10-watt speakers.
Lenovo's version will be available later this year in two sizes. Details on the other will follow.
But it's not just home where the Assistant is. A number of speaker manufacturers including B&O, Altec Lansing and LG are building smart speakers with Assistant, while the usual suspects plus Logitech subsidiary (and one of our favourites) Jaybird will hopefully improve on the dire Google Pixel Buds.
And then there's cars. Oh yes, Assistant is coming closer to Android Auto and that's a very cool thing because it means you will find it a lot easier to switch between your Maps and your tuneskis on a road trip with just your voice.
Better still it could be coming to a car near you - Panasonic is already committing to it with its automotive partners and it will also appear on a number of this years Kia models.
We're only a day into the big reveals at CES and it's already quite clear that the Alexa vs Assistant battle is at the heart of what it means to be in the Vegas bunfight this year. Amazon has already brought out the big guns with the announcement that it is coming to Window laptops. That's the home taken care of.
Meanwhile Google is going all out. Assistant absolutely ruddy everywhere. µ
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