Driven by the Google Assistant, it can be used as a digital assistant to listen to music, check your calendar, ask about the weather, set alarms, and more. Google wrapped Las Vegas Monorail trains in "Hey Google" advertising, bought large display ads outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and purchased big video screen ads on the Strip and near the convention center.
The smart speakers have the potential to disrupt other entertainment devices in the home.
For the moment, voice competitors to Amazon and Google remain largely in the wings. LG of course had plenty to show off, namely its new Nano Cell Super UHD TVs and the new OLED G8 TV models, both of which look stylish, promising, and are full of improvements over last year's TVs from the brand.
Ribitch agreed: "Like many others, we have concerns about a device that's always on and always listening".
Google's focus in 2018 will likely be the spread of Assistant to more home gadgets, mobile devices and vehicles, according to Google Assistant engineer and vice president Scott Huffman. Google doesn't appear rattled and the company is looking at its assistant's use over time. The Google Assistant skill is reportedly more robust, allowing users to search for specific recordings directly through voice commands. The company's sending a clear sign to Amazon that there are still contenders in the digital assistance space. Though Google released a cheaper version of its smart speaker, the Google Home Mini, late a year ago, Amazon's aggressive promotions of the discounted Echo Dot are believed to have made it the holiday sales victor. The front-facing camera will come in handy for video calling, using Google Duo.
Google's philosophy regarding Assistant is that it's a way for people to interact naturally with technology and access information inside their homes or cars, without having to take out a laptop or smartphone, says Gummi Hafsteinsson, product management director for Google Assistant. Amazon's Echo line controlled about 73 percent of that market, while Google Home, which debuted in late 2016, controlled the remaining 27 percent.