As expected, Google Assistant has a massive presence at CES 2019, and not just in terms of floor space. While Google’s exhibit area tripled from 6,000 square feet in 2018 to 18,000 square feet in 2019, the company’s greatest impact is felt in the range and number of areas in which Google Assistant now seeks to help.
Resources from Google services and Google A.I. were called into play to develop new ways in which Google Assistant can play a role in customers’ lives.
Google Assistant is still trailing Amazon Alexa in the push for digital assistant dominance, but the latecomer is gaining fast. The greater message from CES 2019 isn’t all the new Google Assistant-compatible devices and applications, but that Google is going all out. We’ve summarized the headlines of the significant Google Assistant developments and announcements at CES 2019 below.
Google Assistant’s primary focus is in the home, although the digital assistant is quickly spreading to other areas. Many of the new announcements pertain to getting more help at home when you say, “Hey Google…” Currently, more than 1,600 home-automation brands and more than 10,000 devices work with Google Assistant, but those numbers are just the beginning.
Google wants to help device manufacturers add capabilities that enhance or work with Google smart homes. To that end, Google announced Google Assistant Connect, a set of new services to simplify user device setup and make it easier for manufacturers to add new device features. With Google Assistant Connect, users can enable any appliance or device in the home to respond to Google Assistant voice commands.
The new Lenovo Smart Clock is designed for the bedroom and aimed at helping users when they start and end their daily routines. The Smart Clock, available this spring for $79, will have a 4-inch touchscreen and be able to control other smart devices in your home.
Designed for home cooks, the water-resistant, 10-inch KitchenAid Smart Display can present recipes from Yummly and serve as a smart home control point at the same time.
Other home appliances and automation brands due to join or expand their participation with Google Assistant include Whirlpool, Instant Pot, GE Appliance, August security products, and McAfee’s Secure Home Platform.
Some of the more specific new appliances or appliance lines that will work with Google Assistant include the Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi Programmable Pressure Cooker, Sub Zero’s refrigerator and wine storage, U by Moen shower, Wolfe E-Series and M-Series ovens, and Rheem water heater and thermostat.
Water sensors joining the Google Assistant realm include Flo by Moen and the Leaksmart Water Leak Detection Kit.
Electric vehicle home charging systems coming to the Assistant platform include eMotorWorks’ Juicebox Level 2 and SolarEdge’s EV Charging Solar Inverter.
The Rachio 3 smart sprinkler controller and Rain Bird ST8 Wi-Fi smart irrigation timer will let you use Google Assistant voice commands to start and stop garden and lawn watering from home or away.
With Wake and Sleep lighting effects, a new Philips Hue feature, you will be able to integrate alarm and lighting settings to start your day off right.
Still in the home but category-worthy on its own, Google Assistant brings control to televisions, audio systems, and more forms of home entertainment.
Sonos and Google Assistant will be making music together, first with the premium Sonos One and Sonos Beam, with earlier Sonos models scheduled for upgrading later. Just say the words to control music, podcasts, and radio systems with Sonos.
Later this year, Google Assistant with work with new TVs from Samsung. Leave your remote on the table and turn on the TV, switch between inputs, and change channels and control the volume with voice commands.
Sony, Hisense, Philips, TCL, Skyworth, Xiaomi, Haier, Changhong, JVC, and Toshiba will all launch new devices featuring Android TV with the Google Assistant. Some of the new models will include far-field microphones so Google Assistant can hear commands even in noisy rooms.
With integrated Google Assistant, DISH’s Hopper receivers will respond to voice requests for channels, titles, actors, or genres.
Google Maps now works with Google Assistant so you can navigate with voice only, adding stops, replying to text messages, requesting music and podcasts, and letting your family friends know your ETA.
Utility features have been added to Google Assistant for help with messaging, including auto punctuate, as well as read back and replies to messages. Google Assistant is now compatible with messaging via SMS, WhatsApp, Messanger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, and Android Messages.
The new Anker Roav Bolt and JBL Link Drive will both integrate Google Assistant. After you plug the Anker and JBL devices into your vehicle’s 12V socket, you can talk to Google Assistant without needing to use your phone.
Also at CES, Verizon is previewing the HumX by Verizon, another accessory with Google Assistant built in. With HumX, you can access your vehicle diagnostics by voice command.
When you travel with an Android phone, Google Assistant can ease the way boking flights, making reservations, and more.
The first to incorporate Google Assistant queries is United Airlines, beginning with domestic flights. You will be able to use the Assistant to check in and retrieve your boarding pass and then alert you when it’s time to board.
If you want help with accommodations, Google Assistant can help book rooms with Choice Hotels, AccorHotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Priceline, Mirai, and Travelclick.
Sure, you can carry papers with all the details, but Google Assistant will now work with Google Keep, Any do, Bring!, and Todoist so when you want to check your itinerary, all you have to do is ask.
When you need to know something, you don’t always have much time. Google Assistant is adding quick access so you won’t have to unlock your phone or other Android mobile devices to ask for help. This feature will first be available for Google Pixel smartphones and devices before coming to all other Android mobile devices within a few weeks. You’ll be able to set or dismiss alarms, set up timers or reminders, update your calendar, find a restaurant, and much more while your phone remains locked.
Within a few weeks, Google will roll out Interpreter Mode for Google Assistant on Google Home devices and smart displays. Interpreter Mode will support dozens of languages, according to Google, so you can conduct conversations in real time with an interpreter on hand. The command will be, “Hey Google, be my French interpreter,” for example. You will hear translations on Google Home devices and see them in writing on smart displays. Google expects applications for Interpreter Model to expand quickly for many situations, especially when people are traveling.