Google Assistant Expands Beyond Android TV To LG's webOS

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The TV version of the Google Assistant is expanding beyond the Android TV platform for the first time, having been announced as coming to LG's webOS. The new 4K smart TV models that will be showcased at CES 2018 next week are all set to support Google's artificial intelligence companion that will be deeply integrated into their operating system of choice, allowing users to interact with their LG-made television sets in entirely new and intuitive ways. Among other things, owners of LG's 2018 TVs will be able to tell the Google Assistant to change channels, switch between viewing modes, and turn off the screen. Voice-enabled content searching will also be part of the package, as will support for other Google Assistant-enabled devices like the Home lineup of smart speakers.

LG's Magic Remote is at the center of the newly announced integration, with the support for the Google Assistant working much like voice input on the device did before, i.e. users will just have to hold a button and speak any command they have for the digital companion. The solution additionally streamlines the process of accessing the service by eliminating the need for using the "Ok Google" trigger phrase before being able to talk with the Google Assistant. The AI backend of the platform will also be able to differentiate between commands meant for LG's new TVs and other input, so e.g. you won't have to specify that ordering pizza from Domino's is not a command that's directed at your television set but its underlying AI service. In other words, you'll be able to tell your remote to order some pizza just as easily as you would with something like the Google Home or a smartphone. Coupled with the continuing support for Amazon's Alexa, LG's 2018 lineup of smart TVs is positioning itself as a versatile entertainment solution that can blend into your existing smart home setup instead of requiring you to build a new one around it.

The Google Assistant expansion to LG's smart TV ecosystem marks the next step in the increasingly tighter collaboration between the two tech giants. Besides manufacturing the Pixel 2 XL flagship, the South Korean company just announced its very own Google Assistant-enabled speaker in the form of the ThinQ which is also set to be showcased at CES 2018, with its partnership with Alphabet's subsidiary being likely to continue in the coming years.

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