Although CES 2018 is not officially due to begin until tomorrow, there has already been a number of product announcements detailing various compatibility with Google Assistant coming through. While more are also likely to arrive before this year’s show is over, it is becoming increasingly clear Google Assistant is big business at this year’s event. And now Google has also made an announcement further elaborating on some of the hardware expansion plans for Assistant in 2018.
Firstly, Google explains that Assistant will be coming to even more speakers during the year. Speakers have proven to be one of the most popular options for gaining voice assistant functionality and a number of speakers already are compatible with Google Assistant. Including a number of products specifically from Google, such as the Google Home, Mini, and Max. As part of today's announcement Google had looked to confirm that 2018 will see a number of new speaker options arriving and from a wide range of manufacturers, including “Altec Lansing, Anker Innovations, Bang & Olufsen, Braven, iHome, JBL, Jensen, LG, Klipsch, Knit Audio, Memorex, RIVA Audio and SōLIS.”
As part of the same announcement Google also explained Assistant’s expansion will not be limited to just speakers, as the company has been working with various manufacturers to bring Assistant to more homes through the use of smart displays. While speakers have the added benefit of being used as a music playback device, they are limited in the number of things they can do - with providing visuals as one of the most obvious. For example, when the user wants to watch a how-to video on YouTube, make a hands-free video call to a family member, or just get visual feedback on today’s weather or agenda. This is where Google hopes smart displays enabled with Assistant will prove to further add value to those looking to smarten up their home. With JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony the first companies now confirmed as having a smart display with Assistant built-in set to arrive in 2018. In fact, one of those companies, Lenovo, actually announced their Google Assistant-enabled display today, the Lenovo Smart Display. A device which will be available in both 8 and 10-inch sizes and offering all the benefits of the Google Assistant in a display-focused device. Check out the video below for a more detailed look at what to expect from Google Assistant on smart displays in 2018.