Smart Assistants Will Be Everywhere – Tech Trends

Smart Assistants Will Be Everywhere – Tech Trends

The Amazon Echo was a surprising hit when it first came out, but last year Google turned up the competition by launching Google Assistant and putting it inside its own smart speaker, the Google Home.  Google and Amazon are racing to integrate their smart assistants with every gadget in your life.

 So far, Amazon is winning. Soon, you’ll be able to buy a huge array of non-Amazon devices with Alexa built-in, including a $140 speaker from Lenovo, several off-brand 4K TVs, a TRON-like lamp from GE, Ford cars, and a weird robot from LG among countless others.

If there’s a device left in your home that Amazon hasn’t put Alexa on, the company at least wants to control it with Alexa commands. You’ll soon be able to control Samsung’s robot vacuum, DISH’s Hopper DVR, and Whirlpool’s washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ovens with just your voice. You know, assuming you still have an Echo in ten years when you finally get around to upgrading your refrigerator.

Google showed off a smaller version of the same game plan. Google Assistant is coming to Android TV, including a new version of the NVIDIA SHIELD TV (and we were already impressed with the old version.) Android TV already supports Google’s voice commands, but this will allow you to issue commands using “Ok, Google” as long as the remote control can hear you, even if you don’t press a button first.

All of this points to one very push in 2017: Smart assistants will be everywhere. Amazon and, to a lesser extent, Google want you to view Alexa and Google as a virtual person that’s in every room with you. Just speak out loud and they can help you with everything you need to do. It’s an ambitious plan, but it probably has a long way to go before it’s reality yet.

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