Google has announced that its voice-controlled virtual assistant will show up on new tablet-like devices designed by LG Electronics and Sony. With this, the company has taken a step towards fiercer competition with Amazon‘s Alexa.
Dubbed as Google Smart Display, the device is a tablet-like screen with speakers covering one side of the device. Google is teaming with four consumer tech companies to bring its digital helper to the video screen soon. It said that Smart Displays will be sold by JBL, LG, Lenovo, and Sony.
The devices would obey commands just like any other smart device. It will also play music, make video calls, watch YouTube videos and look at photos, all using voice controls.
The Google Smart Display devices will utilize the Android Things platform and will provide Google Assistant on demand. This is likely to be similar to Google Home. A Smart Display gives the Assistant a display to indicate relevant information or even make calls, just like Amazon’s Echo Show. However, unlike the Echo Show, the Google devices are said to have support for Google services including Maps and YouTube.
While Google has given the Smart Display a look similar to a tablet, the devices don’t have a web browser or 4G LTE cellular connection and need to be plugged in at all times so their microphones can continually listen for the wake words “Hey Google” or “OK Google.”
Lenovo‘s version of the smart display will launch in two variants – an 8-inch screen and a 10-inch display. Both the devices are said to have a camera that shoots in the 720p high definition. The device smaller model will cost $200 (Rs 12,700 approximately), while the 10-inch variant will retail at $250 (Rs 15,900 approximately). The devices will go on sale “early this summer”.
JBL has also unveiled the Link View, which comes with an 8-inch display. While not much is known about the device right now, the device will be available in the summer in the US. The pricing details are still under the hood.