And to no one’s surprise, that’s what Google did. The search giant built a massive booth to showcase its Google Assistant software, set up an interactive ride for guests, and plastered the words “Hey Google” everywhere, from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the city’s monorail.
CES, the world’s largest technology conference, is more important to Google than ever as it pushes devices to consumers that compete against the likes of Amazon, Apple and Samsung. At the center of Google’s strategy is the Assistant, an AI-powered digital helper that’s akin to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. It’s available in Android phones, Google Home smart speakers, other smart home devices, and as an app on iPhones.
Google not only made a bunch of announcements itself, but also partnered with other companies, including Samsung, Lenovo and McAfee to tout new Assistant integrations.
Here’s everything Google announced at CES this year:
- The Assistant will be in 1 billion devices by the end of the month. That includes phones, smart speakers and household appliances.
- Google Assistant Interpreter mode does live translations for two people speaking different languages.
- Google Assistant Connect is a platform that allows third-party device makers to more easily integrate the Assistant into their products.
- A smart alarm clock made by Lenovo.
- A water-resistant KitchenAid smart display by Whirlpool.
- Assistant gets built into Sonos speakers.
- Assistant will work with Samsung TVs, so you can turn it on, change channels, and control volume using voice commands from your Google Home.
- Dish’s Hopper family of DVRs will have the Assistant built into its remotes, so you can search for content and control other smart home devices. That builds on features first released in 2018.
- Other Android TV devices with Assistant built in include: Sony, Hisense, Philips, TCL, Skyworth, Xiaomi, Haier, Changhong, JVC and Toshiba.
- Some other smart home devices that will work with the Assistant: Instant Pot, routers on the McAfee Secure Home Platform, and the Rheem Water Heater & Thermostat.
- Assistant is being built into car accessories, including the Anker Roav Bolt and the JBL Link Drive, which plug into a car’s cigarette lighter to connect your phone to the in-car system.
- Lots of new mobile features: Check into your flight using the Google Assistant, access the Assistant straight from your phone’s lock screen. And the Assistant is coming to the Google Maps app, so you can use voice commands to do things like share your ETA or reply to a text while driving.
CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.
CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect.
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