The 2018 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is set to get a notch better with A-lister Google joining the exhibitor list in a bigger fashion. Google is expected to show off improved capabilities of its digital assistant, Google Assistant, which will go beyond answering casual queries and aid in getting more work done with connected devices.
Google has put major “Hey, Google” ads on Las Vegas Monorail and has also put an outdoor CES booth, placing its voice-based assistant up against Amazon. In its blog, Google talks about how 2017 was major for Google Home and the Google Assistant, and this year, there will be new integrations, devices and other new developments for the voice-based assistant. The Assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices, and Google says it sold tens of millions of its Google devices for the home over this last year.
As a report on GeekWire puts it, Google has not had a booth traditionally at CES, and hasn’t made this kind of impact since co-founder Larry Page delivered a keynote at CES over a decade ago.
It is to be noted that Amazon will also have its own booth for Alexa at the CES and Microsoft is also likely to showcase Cortana at the event, albeit through industry partnerships. However, what gives Google an edge over other manufacturers is its significant Android smartphone userbase, along with Android Auto in cars, and its owned Nest connected home market.
At the annual event a lot of brands will showcase their technologies and it would make sense for some of them to announce Google’s digital assistant built-in. While Samsung might continue with its push for Bixby in the voice assistant race, manufacturers such as TCL, Vizio, or Hisense may offer Google Assistant built-in their smart TV sets. Other brands such as Sony and LG have already announced that their 2018 sets will include Google Assistant.
According to Canalys, it is expected that over 56 million smart speakers will be shipped this year, with the major chunk being retailed in the US. With this projection, Google’s prominence at this year’s CES could mark the initial step in the year which could be dominated by speakers which converse with you and not only take basic instructions.