Voice assistants and smart homes to battle at CES 2018

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Voice assitants Google Amazon
Photo by Kaufdex via Pixabay

In the battle for supremacy as voice assistant of choice, this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas is set to be a key battlefield for Amazon Alexia and Google Assistant. While dominating last year’s trade show, Alexia can expect to meet fierce competition from its primary competitor this week.

Google has made its presence at this year’s CES known with an eye-catching “Hey Google” advertisement wrapped around the Las Vegas monorail. Google also set up a large outdoor booth including a twisty blue slide that’s sure to grab its fair share of attention.

Google stated in a preview of its CES presence that Google Assistant will come with new devices and integrations amongst other developments.

Google’s enhanced presence at CES and focus on Google Assistant highlights that products in the smart home market will be the next big battle in the tech industry. Google has historically not had static booth at CES and has not made a contribution to the event since co-founder Larry Page delivered a keynote more than 10 years ago.

Amazon’s Alexia will have its own booth at this year’s CES and promises “exciting new announcements” with “magical” Alexia voice experiences being further developed.

Another competitor, Microsoft’s Cortana, is also going to have a presence at CES this year. Google recently got into trouble with Microsoft for uploading a disguied Chrome installer to the Windows 10 store.

Apple, which operates its own voice assistant Siri and HomeKit platform, continues its trend of not showing up to CES, preferring instead to announce product developments at its own functions.

Thanks to Android, Google has a distinct advantage over Amazon with its integration into smartphones. Despite this, Google has fallen behind Amazon’s Echo and Alexa in the smart home speaker market.

The smart home market is set to grow quickly in 2018 with research firms predicting over 56 million smart speaker deliveries this year with the majority being within the United States.

The most important battle in the smart home war is the securing of industry partnerships for both Google and Amazon, where they will be able to reach the most customers. Google recently boasted that its Google Assistant was compatible with more than 1,500 smart home systems from over 225 different brands.

Amazon showcased an increased momentum for its Alexa technology with announcements that the voice assistant was being integrated into Garmin’s automotive infotainment platform, Hisense TV’s and a Kohler bathroom mirror.

While the Kohler bathroom mirror will be Alexa-enabled, Kohler said that it is also going supply smart home bathroom products for Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant as well. This shows that the competition in the smart home market is set to intensify as new integrations are discovered.

By the end of CES the technology sector will have a better picture from which to predict this year’s leader in voice assistant devices.