Voice assistant war between Amazon and Google rages on in CES 2018

The new Google Assistant gadgets unveiled Monday at the CES trade show in Las Vegas mark the first challenge to Amazon's Echo Show and the smaller Echo Spot, which also has a display.

Google's software is a work in progress-devices using it won't ship until later this year-but it gave me the impression that the company is ready to take on touchscreen devices powered by Amazon's Alexa assistant, such as the Echo Show and Echo Spot.

Synaptics, known for biometric scanners, touchpads and other input technologies, is also offering Cortana-compatible platform to OEMs and ODMs, based on AudioSmart, the company's far-field voice digital signal processing technology.

The LG Smart Ecosystem has been contributing to the smart home industry in many ways. While it's true that the company got a good footprint with regards to Windows 10 PCs, the form factor really isn't a natural one for voice assistants - not like a smartphone or smart speaker.

The only possible competitor to Alexa at this point is Google Home, but Alexa has a huge lead: over 4,000 devices can now be controlled by Alexa, the company said, while Google's total is around 1,500.

"Panasonic's work to bring Amazon Alexa to the auto is a great example of how we're seeing greater collaboration between technology vendors to provide a more consistent experience in different domains", said Nils Lenke, senior director of corporate research at Nuance. The company announced that Assistant will be coming to Android Auto in the USA starting this week. The line between smart speaker and smart hub continues to blur. The company's sending a clear sign to Amazon that there are still contenders in the digital assistance space. Instead of an advertising blitz, its Alexa digital assistant has merely been popping up regularly in "smart" products across the convention - everything from mirrors and toilets to headphones and vehicle dashboards. Microsoft's smart assistant is actually pretty solid, all things told, but it rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. It seems that in order to accept smart, voice-operated assistants, we prefer separate devices nestled in the corner (or on the boardroom table) than what's effectively the same tech on our phones. Video calling, Google Photos, and Google Maps are all supported. On Tuesday, the search giant had a few announcements to make which included its plans to expand Assistant this year and a new product called Google Pay. Though it's to note that Google does offer Google Express, a feature which lets users buy Walgreens, Costco and Toys "R" Us products.

  • Arturo Norris