Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Google Assistant takes the fight to Alexa at CES

Samsung Bixby 2.0 will bring back support for Google apps Google Assistant on Track to Soon Hit a Billion Devices Milestone
Cecil Davis | 11 January, 2019, 16:28

Assistant Connect is Google's answer to Amazon's Alexa Connect Kit, a hardware module that simplifies the process of building devices that feature the popular Alexa virtual assistant.

Interpreter Mode could potentially drive demand for Google Assistant devices among certain types of companies, notably hotels and retailers, that have worldwide customers to support.

Background: This isn't Google's first go at real-time translation. For security reasons, it's available through opt-in, meaning you've got to tick the box in settings. No word yet on when it will be arriving on specific models. Google has partnered with chains like Choice Hotels, AccorHotels and InterContinental Hotels Group, as well as travel services such as Priceline, Expedia, Mirai, and Travelclick to offer a wide range of options.

Meanwhile, Verizon previewed the HumX at CES - a vehicle accessory with built-in Google Assistant that lets users pull auto diagnostics with voice commands. The Assistant also tracks the traveler's itinerary through applications such as Google Keep, Any.do, Bring! and Todoist. It provides you with vehicle diagnostics, responds to crashes, can get you roadside assistance, and allows you to share your location with friends and family.

While the Assistant has always been able to do quick translation of few words, it wasn't of much help during a conversation.

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For Android, Google Assistant will also work on SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and more. Google also announced support for McAfee's Secure Home Platform, Rheem's Econet Smart Thermostat, the Côr 7C thermostat by Carrier, eMotorWerk's JuiceBox Level 2 and SolarEdge's EV Charging Solar Inverter.

Google stated the feature will arrive on Google Home devices "over the next few weeks".

For commuters, it not just about the getting to new places, it's about to get into the place on time.

While putting Assistant into Maps seems a logical next step within the Google ecosystem, the bigger reason for this move was the lack of interest among iPhone users.

The research also highlighted that 65% of respondents are using their voice assistant for activities like making voice calls, playing music and accessing news, instead of their smartphones.