While Amazon’s Alexa has been running circles around Google Assistant for the past couple years, it finally looks like the Mountain-view based company is starting to play catchup. We’ve already seen more and more products come out with Assistant support, Google is stepping up a notch and introducing a new smart display platform, which features the Assistant.
The following companies have announced support for the new platform: Altec Lansing, Anker Innovations, Bang & Olufsen, Braven, iHome, JBL, Jensen, LG, Lenovo, Klipsch, Knit Audio, Memorex, RIVA Audio, SōLIS, and Sony.
Google isn’t specifying what the smart displays can do exactly, but it won’t be an Android Tablet like experience slapped on a speaker. It will be, however, a voice interface that uses a display to enhance the assistant’s capabilities, like what is found on Amazon’s Echo Show.
The smart displays still technically operate on Android, however its running on Android Things, which is an IoT focused platform. Instead of having the typical Android home screen, the displays will instead have a card-like interface. That being said, Google hasn’t put a final decision as to what the UI will be like.
Putting Google Assistant on a smart display makes sense, as it will enhance the user’s productivity of using the voice assistant. For example, it could show users their recent photos taken, display their calendar, give directions before leaving, display certain recipes, and even video chat using Duo. Thankfully, people can even watch YouTube, which can’t be said for the Echo Show.
Lenovo recently unveiled their first Smart Display model, with an 8-inch model and a 10-inch variant. Alongside Lenovo, both JBL and LG have also released smart display devices, which will be available sometime during the summer.
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