THE GOOGLE VERSUS ALEXA WAR IS ON AT CES 2018

WIRED | 1/9/2018 | David Pierce
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It's been a while since Google showed up in a big way at CES. The company's always in Vegas, of course: execs hold meetings with carriers and partners, and the halls of the convention center practically overflow with devices. For the last few years, that's been enough for Google.

At CES 2018, however, Google's back in a big way. Its massive installation in the convention center parking lot includes a twirling slide and a ball pit. The company wallpapered the Vegas monorail in Google Assistant ads. You can barely turn around without seeing a "Hey Google" billboard reminding you of the power of the company's voice-activated bot. The efforts feel like metaphor: Google Assistant is everywhere in Vegas because Google wants desperately for Assistant to be everywhere in your gadgets.

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Google even announced big news at CES for the first time in a while. It's all about Assistant, of course, Google's attempt to get its virtual helper into more places and devices. The newest new thing is a line of "Smart Displays" built by JBL, LG, Lenovo, and Sony. These are dedicated Assistant devices, much like the Google Home, except these have screens as well.

Google's also expanding its program for Assistant-optimized headphones, with new devices that use the same super-quick voice response as the new Bose QC35 II. And in the car, Google's put Assistant into Android Auto, so you can use it to get directions or control your music while you drive. Along with the new categories, Google touted its rapidly growing adoption: Assistant can now control more than 1,500 devices, and you can interact with it through new Android TVs, new...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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