Google Assistant is presently in the process of being updated with support for smart displays, a new product category that will become part of the company's artificial intelligence ecosystem next month, with LG Electronics, Lenovo, and JBL all being set to release their first such offerings in a few weeks. The feature appears to be rolling out through a server-side switch in a gradual manner and anyone who already received it should see a "Smart Displays" category being listed under the "Availability" menu in their Google Assistant settings. Among other things, users will be able to calibrate the upcoming screen-equipped speakers to relay news, play music, control other smart devices, make (video) calls, and show images, clips, and calendar appointments, as revealed by the newly updated settings.
The Mountain View, California-based tech giant has yet to confirm that the newly sighted functionality is rolling out in an official capacity, though additional tweaks and improvements to the manner in which its AI assistant supports intelligent displays are likely to be introduced before the products become available for purchase in July. Besides Lenovo, JBL, and LG, Sony is also expected to release a Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker in the second half of the year, though its gadget has yet to be officially unveiled.
The competition in the smart display market is likely to heat up in the coming months, with both Samsung and Facebook reportedly developing such solutions with the goal of commercializing them by the end of 2018. Whereas Samsung's gadget is expected to support Bixby, it's still unclear what kind of AI integration will be on offer with Facebook's smart speaker lineup that insiders claim would have already been released had the company not found itself under major public scrutiny following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In the meantime, Amazon's Echo Show remains the only smart speaker option with a screen that money can buy in the west.