At CES 2019, Alexa and Google Assistant will howl. The rest will whimper

CNET | 1/3/2019 | Ben Fox Rubin
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The world's largest tech show has become center stage for the digital assistant wars.

Amazon Alexa was the belle of the CES ball two years ago when the e-commerce giant unveiled a long list of product integrations that included Ford vehicles and Whirlpool appliances. Not to be overshadowed, Google the following year constructed a large, eye-catching stage and announced four new Google Assistant-powered smart displays.

Week - Amazon - Google - Splashes - Rest

Which brings us to CES 2019, kicking off next week. There, Amazon and Google are expected to make big splashes designed to show the rest of the tech industry that they -- not the other guy -- have the best platform for operating our smart homes, connected cars and voice-powered offices. Making their cases will be especially important at CES, since the show has become a who's who for the smart home and automotive industries -- two major growth areas for voice assistants.

But while both have extended the reach and influence of voice computing, both also need to broaden their messages and showcase their voice assistants' capabilities. That work could persuade more consumers that they need smart speakers as much as they need smartphones.

Percent - Americans - Speaker - Percent - Smartphones

Currently, 32 percent of Americans own a smart speaker while 77 percent have smartphones, according to Adobe and Pew Research, showing there's much more room for voice to grow. Smart speaker adoption has been growing at a healthy clip, but drawing in new customers may get harder, with increased consumer concern about data privacy and a regular trickle of negative anecdotes about Alexa malfunctioning. Also, Adobe reported the No. 1 reason people don't own a smart speaker is because they feel they just don't have a use for one.

"If the industry can convince those that do not own a smart speaker to get one, we believe the effects can be exponential," in sparking new...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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