For a change in times, Google is making big announcements at CES. We’ve already heard about Google Pay, and now Google has announced ‘Smart Displays.’ These are essentially Google Home speakers with the Google Assistant that have a built-in display, and they’ll be made by various hardware partners. Think of them as a collection of Echo Show-like speakers, only powered by the Google Assistant and not Amazon Alexa.
CES 2018 is bringing a large handful of big announcements, and Google’s introduction of Smart Displays has to be among the biggest. Smart home products including speakers, powered by the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are everywhere, and we sorta saw it coming. With its announcement of Smart Displays, created using the Google Assistant SDK, Google is attempting to shove Amazon out-of-the-way and get in everyone’s home. As Google said when it first announced Google Assistant, it won’t be long before the AI voice technology is present in every part of our lives.
With Smart Displays, we’re seeing more of a direction as to where Google is going in 2018 with its Google Assistant. With Smart Displays, users gain the ability to interact through touch instead of only over voice. This opens up a lot of opportunities since you can both hear and see information, which seems to be where Google Home and Amazon Echo speakers will head in 2018.
Smart Displays make use of a speaker, microphone and display. Google will listen to you, talk back and show information at a glance when you ask for it, or when you will need it most. Smart Display owners will also be able to place video calls over Google Duo and use lightened versions of various everyday apps such as YouTube, Calendar, Google Search, Google Maps, Google Photos, and Home (for smart home). This isn’t all new, as we’ve seen Echo Show provide similar functionality, but again, if the Google Assistant is more your thing and you’re in the Google ecosystem, steer toward these.
To make Smart Displays, Google has partnered up with several manufacturers. To start, JBL, Lenovo, and LG have made Smart Displays of their own. Just like third-parties can make Google Home-like speakers, making Google Assistant Smart Displays is open source and can be done by anyone. We’ve already seen quite a few at CES 2018, which we’ll go into greater detail about in a separate post. However, more will release later this year and vary in shape, size and price. There’s bound to be one for everybody, and we look forward to the possibilities this will give Google, and the various product options manufacturers will create for consumers.
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