It was on Android phones first, then it came to smart speakers, and now Google Assistant is compatible with everything…
It was on Android phones first, then it came to smart speakers, and now Google Assistant is compatible with everything from TV to showers. In fact, Google’s voice assistant is now so popular that the company recently announced that it expects the feature to be installed in one billion units soon.
The number is 10 times larger than the 100 million Alexa units recently announced by Amazon. But Google expects millions of Android phones where people may not be able to use an assistant. The bigger question is: Which types of units come with an assistant on board as a key feature? This week we have seen a lot of new ones.
Here are our choices for the most interesting units with assistant announced at CES 201
Let’s start with smart speakers because it was where voice assistants first found a home after jumping from smartphones .
The biggest announcement came from Sonos, who was finally ready to show support from Google Assistant on their latest speakers. Although the integration is still in beta, it seems to work, and it will come to Sonos Beam besides the Sonos One.
When Sonos announced its first smart speaker, Sonos One, back in October 2017, it promised to be the first to support both Alexa and Google Assistant on the same device. Sonos One was launched with Alexa, and Sonos said it planned to add Google Assistant through an update 2018, which was delayed to this year. There is no word at an exact release date, but with beta testing now, Sonos free update will hopefully not be too far away.
Meanwhile, the House of Marley Get Together Mini is another traditional Google Assistant device. The reason is a battery-powered smart speaker. You can set up your voice assistant to listen to a waking word and there is a USB type A port on the back if you want it loaded by one of your other devices.
About the Get Together Mini differs in its design, consisting of bamboo, aluminum and a hemp fabric, cotton and recycled plastic. House of Marley claims that the speaker is made of some of the highest percentages of sustainable materials from a Google Assistant smart speaker.
Google first announced its smart viewing initiative at CES 2018, and in 2019 saw a handful of new devices announced, each with a specific user case in mind.
Lenovo’s Smart Clock is a more compact smart screen designed for bedrooms. Its 4-inch screen may not be the kind of thing you should watch on YouTube videos, but it’s supposed to be just the right size to set alarms, get calendar event information, or show you simple commute information. Essentially, it has no camera, unlike Amazon Echo Spot.
Meanwhile, KitchenAid has debuted a smart screen that is designed for the kitchen with a water resistance that should protect it from virtually any food waste you can send its way. It will have access to built-in recipes from the Yummly sister brand. For the most part, we are only here for the insurance that we will not have to replace our expensive kitchen appliances every time a blender overflows.
GE has created a 27-inch touchscreen designed to be mounted above your fireplace. As a more or less full-featured Android device, the touch screen can be used for everything from looking up recipes to watching some Netflix while cooking. The price starts at $ 1,199, but unfortunately it lacks the water resistance of KitchenAid’s Smart Display.
Lots of TVs from similar LG and Sony have already built in Google Assistant, but Samsung has until now and prefers to keep things in the family with its own Bixby assistant. Thankfully, with its 2019 models, has now changed, and both assistants are now supported throughout the range.
If you don’t want to buy a brand new TV just to get support for Google Assistant, an external upgrade upgrade can have everything you need. The disk has announced that its Hopper receivers and DVRs will soon have the voice assistant built in, which means you can use their voice modes to search for TV content or control other smart devices.
JBL Link Bar was not actually advertised on CES this year – we got our first glimpse of it back to Google I / O 2018 – but the company finally announced the price and release date at this year’s show. Share smart speakers and some set-top boxes, audio balance sounds can not only be controlled by Google Assistant, but it can also display video on a connected TV, and it can even overlap Google information on top. The JBL Link Bar will finally be available in the spring of 2019 for $ 399.95.
Together with JBL, Klipsch and LG also had some Google Assistant-supporting soundbars. Klipsch Bar 40G is a 40-inch wide audio line that has an HDMI port for connection to your TV. There are also 48-inch Klipsch 48W, but this is “compatible with” the voice assistant instead of having it built-in. That means the smart feature only extends as far as allowing Google Assistant to stream music to it. Meanwhile, the LG SL10, SL9 and SL8 areas of the soundbar will also include the assistant.
Klipsch has not announced exactly how much each sound bar will cost when they start selling in the spring, but it is said that the pricing for the set-up starts with SEK 299, while LG’s sound bar price is not yet announced.
Although most of these products are designed to use Google Assistant to control devices in your home, JBL Link Drive and Anker Roav Bolt are designed for to get voice assistant in your car. Both connect to your cigarette lighter to charge, and they deliver audio to your car’s stereo with either Bluetooth or a traditional 3.5mm connector.
Once connected, you get access to Google Assistant’s full functionality, allowing you to control your music, navigation and even send some messages – all without taking care of you the wheel or your eyes from the road.
Roav Bolt costs $ 50 when it launches next month, while JBL’s Link Drive is a little more expensive at $ 60 and is due to be released this spring.
Kohler had a completely smart bathroom to show off at this year’s CES, but its Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet is unfortunately only compatible with Alexa, so we have to limit our discussion to its voice-controlled mirror, which soon starts a Google Assistant model. It will be available from $ 1,249 for the 24-inch model or $ 1,624 for the entire 40-inch model.
Another smart mirror comes to us from Capstone, but unlike Kohler’s model, it actually contains a touchscreen, making it a hybrid between a smart mirror and a smart screen. Along with watching videos and checking out the weather, the mirror’s screen is also touch sensitive, so you can even compose e-mails while you start your sink.
There is no word yet on how much the mirrors are expected to cost, but it will be 19-inch and 22-inch models, and they will be available later this year.
Finally, Simplehuman’s Mirror Hi-Fi is the third Google Assistant-equipped smart mirror area that has been announced on CES this year. It does not have the full touch screen available on the Capstone Smart Mirror, but it is also a fraction of the price with prices from $ 350. The mirror is also equipped with lamps that the company claims can simulate sunlight.
Finally, U by Moen’s smart shower got Google Assistant support this year, after Alexa’s addition 2018. Along with turning off and on the shower, you can also set it to the desired temperature with just your voice .
There were plenty of other Google Assistant gadgets that didn’t fit into any clear category. Lutron had a new fan control that can be controlled by Google Assistant, Daikin had a smart thermostat, Gourmia announced three new Assistant-compatible kitchen utensils, and Orbit added Google Assistant support for its smart sprinkler system.
There are already a large number of different Google Assistant devices, but a small Google prototype suggested that many more might be coming soon. At the show, the company showed a small E-ink screen, which is a prototype of what Google’s hope will be a whole new class of smart devices.
Instead of packing smarts directly, the idea is that they will be able to take in inputs from a full-featured Google Assistant smart speaker. Ask a speaker about your commute, and a low power display mounted in your refrigerator can tell you which traffic you are likely to encounter, for example.
Maybe we’ve seen a lot of Google Assistant hardware at this year’s CES, but we’ve barely scratched the surface for what Google has planned for its voice assistant.