Google Assistant is now on Android Auto, because apparently it wasn't before

CES showcases the tech trends that will shape the year ahead.

The smart speakers have the potential to disrupt other entertainment devices in the home. But apparently, that wasn't the real Google Assistant.

Asus is adding Alexa to its laptops, providing more competition for Cortana.

What are they using the devices for? Lenovo's Smart Display, for instance - our Best IoT/Smart Home award victor this year - pairs the AI technology with two different sizes of touchscreen, aiming to conquer a place on the kitchen counter that until now might have been home to an Amazon Echo Show. And thanks to Google Assistant, you can also control other smart home appliances like a thermostat, connected bulbs, etc. Alexa can be used to command more devices, is associated with making purchases, and has become a household name.

Google's focus in 2018 will likely be the spread of Assistant to more home gadgets, mobile devices and vehicles, according to Google Assistant engineer and vice president Scott Huffman.

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When Lenovo Group Ltd made a decision to create an assistant-enabled screen last summer that would sit on a kitchen counter like a mini-TV, it turned to Google.

This year at CES has seen Google move into the smart home market in a big way with its "Hey, Google" voice assistant service taking on the dominance of Alexa by Amazon. Google doesn't appear rattled and the company is looking at its assistant's use over time.

Neither Amazon nor Google is forcing exclusive deals, hardware executives say, with the understanding that consumers may prefer a different assistant in different settings.

"That is correct. When Google Home detects that you've said "OK, Google" or 'Hey Google", the LEDs on top of the device light up to tell you that recording is happening", A Google representative said, "Google Home records what you say and sends that recording (including the few-second hotword recording) to Google in order to fulfill your request". Though Google released a cheaper version of its smart speaker, the Google Home Mini, late a year ago, Amazon's aggressive promotions of the discounted Echo Dot are believed to have made it the holiday sales victor. While the display is a touchscreen, the Smart Display is really built around voice commands, and will live or die by how well the Google Assistant handles a variety of requests - something we'll test more fully when we give it a full review. Lenovo was the one of the first companies to unveil a Google Assistant powered Smart Display, with their yet-to-be-named product.

But when it comes to Google, the company's new strategy has helped it get more than just its foot in your front door.

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