The CES 2019 at Las Vegas is showcasing countless products by thousands of companies. But the battle between the world’s two major voice assistants has been one of the biggest parts of the spectacle. Google’s Assistant is about to be available on a billion devices soon, while Alexa gears up to give it a run for its money
Alexa vs. Assistant
Google has stolen the show more than once at CES. They have also dedicated their booth and almost the entirety of their CES agenda to Google Assistant. In response, Amazon has simply opened the floodgate of products that will work with Alexa.
Assistant has exclusive access to Google’s products and features. It is also available on millions of smartphones across the world. Alexa, on the other hand, asserts its place as the voice assistant with a staggeringly high amount of third-party collaborations. When Amazon released the Alexa Connect Kit last Fall, that made it easier for developers to integrate it into their products. Their single-chip solution to making products capable of working with the AI assistant has considerably enhanced the possibilities for Alexa.
At the CES 2019, this pattern continues.
Alexa Products at the CES
1. Alexa on screens
The most tantalizing product at the CES to get an Alexa feature is the LG rollable TV. With its Atmos speaker system and Alexa features with AirPlay2, this was one of the most interesting products in CES’s TV collection. Even though Samsung has its own voice assistant called Bixby, their 2019 TVs are coming in loaded with the ability to recognize both Alexa and Google Assistant commands. And this wasn’t the only TV to get a voice assistant boost – Panasonic also announced a TV with both Alexa and Google Assistant. It will have Atmos speakers, Dolby Vision, and HD10+.
Other products with screens and the capability of interacting with Alexa include Smart Tabs by Lenovo. These are tablets with built-in Alexa and the ability to enable Amazon Show Mode when charging. Their charging docks even double as a speaker system.
Archos tablets will follow suit as well. Their Mate Smart Displays also come with built-in Alexa with HD touchscreens.
2. Alexa in smart homes
Smart home devices that work with Alexa abounded at this week’s event. These included locking systems that recognize voice commands with the help of Alexa, such as the Secure Pro by Lockly and Deadbolt by Schlage. Voice assistants can now help support fingerprint scanning, number generating keypads, remote locking and unlocking, and status checks.
However, Ring was really the star of the show (despite recent security concerns), partly because it is an Amazon product. Ring comes with a Door View Cam to detect motion, smoke, and smart lighting controls. Naturally, the Door View Cam is Alexa-enabled.
Alexa has also conquered the kitchen. The Smart Countertop Oven by Whirlpool sets the tone for Alexa-powered kitchen appliances. Alexa helps the oven recognize the food you’re cooking and set the temperature by itself. Gourmia has also released a digital air fryer with Alexa. File that under “things you didn’t know you needed.”
One of the more perplexing but fascinating Alexa-enabled machines at the CES was the Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet. Have you always wanted to control the mood lighting, seat temperature, and flushing capabilities of your toilet with your voice? Dream no more! In fact, Kohler debuted an entire smart bathroom, including products like the Verdera Mirror, which lets you shop, check the weather, and surf the web while you ask who is the fairest of them all. Now your whole bathroom will be able to recognize Alexa commands. Enjoy!
While some of the new Alexa-enabled devices entered wacky territory at this year’s CES, it’s a testament to just how ubiquitous voice assistant technology is becoming. It will only get more interesting as Amazon and Google battle for domination over all of your devices.