Google at CES 2018: Assistant everywhere, smart displays now a thing

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The question now is whether customers will want to buy Google's version of these "show and tell" speakers, which Google calls Smart Displays and will be sold by JBL, LG, Lenovo and Sony.

Consumers will be able to ask these smart displays for recipes, weather and traffic, or get updates on their day's schedule.

Neither Apple Inc's assistant Siri nor Microsoft Corp's Cortana are now available on a speaker with a tablet-like display.

Are you excited about the prospect of Smart Displays?

A royal battle seems in the offing between Google and Amazon now that the former has chose to take on Amazon with its smart displays that pose a direct challenge to Echo Show devices. At CES, Lenovo announced the Lenovo Smart Display, a slab-like gizmo dominated by a touchscreen that houses the Google Assistant.

Lenovo's Smart Display delivers a full HD resolution as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for getting your other gadgets connected, and the integrated speaker is rated at 10 watts.

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Smart Displays are coming first from JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony.

"On the privacy side, these devices are typically configured to only transmit data when triggered by a command word, which is good, but you're still telling Google or Amazon, and possibly Kohler and First Alert, a lot about your life", says Brookman. Expected to launch in early summer 2018, the 8-inch Smart Display starts from $199, with the 10-inch variant kicking off from $249.

Google is trying to push Assistant into other devices in the home as well. According to a range of third party estimates, Amazon has roughly three-fourths of the smart speaker market to Google's 25 percent.

Whichever way the ongoing squabble plays out, consumers will have to wait until later in the year before they can buy the new Smart Displays. Particularly, these devices run the Google Assistant experience which helps with interactions by both voice and touch. Now, you may notice I didn't capitalize smart displays, and that was on objective. JBL's device has an 8-inch display.

Qualcomm said the variant based on the SDA212 SoC is created to bring digital assistant and audio capability into home devices and appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and washing machines. Video calling is enabled with a 5MP camera (front facing obviously). The 8-inch Smart Display comes in a light-gray color scheme, while the 10-inch model is mostly white with a bamboo-colored back panel.

Google has built the operating system entirely itself, giving Assistant a viable UI that feels fluid and useful for a product like this.

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