The report suggested that Amazon and Google had embarked on a market share contest over the festive season, heavily discounting their smart speakers (in particular their smallest speakers) to the extreme that each sale may have actually resulted in a loss of a few dollars per unit. Other manufacturers announced their own smart speaker products running the Google Assistant, or at least plans to adopt it. The company has further wrote in a blog post that, they will introduce the Google Assistant with companies like JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony. 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. The Smart Display does not come with 4G LTE cellular network and it also does not have its own web browser. It offers a customisable night light, plays music and answers "Hey, Google" questions, and also links to other Onelink devices in the home to sound a wholehouse alarm in the event of an emergency.
It has an 8-inch touchscreen display and speakers it says are tuned by Meridian Audio, on either side.
It's nice to see that these features are spreading out across vehicles and becoming less manufacturer-specific - but it'll also make it more hard to figure out who's on the phone, who's talking to Alexa or Google, and who's just muttering to themselves. You can search things like "weather" to find apps that might give you a more accurate weather forecast than the default weather service.
While last year's push was to get Google's smart speaker lineup up to speed, this year's focus will be on the smart display. You can even reserve parking space through SpotHero. You will also get proper recommendations for your favourite contents to watch out and to explore within the display. In the meantime, CES 2018 might be filled with smart products until its final day. The front-facing camera will come in handy for video calling, using Google Duo. The 8-inch model is priced at $199 while the 10-inch will retail at $249 when it goes on sale in early summer.
The displays are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 624 microprocessor. Several large video billboards around the conference centre are dedicated to advertising the Google Assistant. The company may add some more color variants to its lineup in the future.
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Both displays lack distinct Lenovo or Google branding.
Amazon kick-started the market for smart speakers in 2014 with its Echo device, which included the Alexa virtual assistant. In fact, Cortana will be competing against other assistants this year with more presence on devices.
The market is still growing fast, with smart speakers among the top-selling devices at Amazon.
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.