Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Google competes with Amazon, plans to give voice to new touchscreen devices

Google competes with Amazon, plans to give voice to new touchscreen devices

Apart from Lenovo, JBL, LG, and Sony will also be making smart displays with built-in Google Assistant running the same software. The screens will enable people to watch videos from YouTube, video call with Google Duo, find photos from Google Photos, and more.

Both the 8-and the 10-inch Smart Displays boast a single 10W speaker, 1.75-inches on the smaller unit, 2 inches on the 10-inch model, with both models sporting 2×2 dual microphone arrays.

Are you excited about the prospect of Smart Displays? Early photos of smart displays from partners like Lenovo show sleek rectangular devices meant to stand up on a counter like a picture frame.

The Lenovo Smart Display is the more plain-looking of the two announced today but comes with options.

Already some OEMs are promising they'll build smart displays of their own, including JBL, LG, and Sony. This way you can explore and discover new things to do with the Google Assistant.

The theme at this year's show seems to be about connected devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. At $199 for the 8-inch and $249 for the 10-inch, they are only a little more than what voice assistant were priced at when they debuted.


Google Assistant is everywhere at CES 2018.

Whichever way the ongoing squabble plays out, consumers will have to wait until later in the year before they can buy the new Smart Displays. He says that there was a lot of "excitement" about bringing the Google Assistant to screen-based devices from those manufacturers, so Google moved to assist. Besides running the device via voice, the display is also a touchscreen should you choose to go that route.

Qualcomm said the variant based on the SDA212 SoC is created to bring digital assistant and audio capability into home devices and appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and washing machines. There are buttons for adjusting speaker volume, and there's even a switch that places a physical lens cover over the front-facing camera that's used for video calls.

There will be two models of the Lenovo's yet-to-be-named Smart Display, one with a 10-inch screen, and the other with an 8-inch screen.

Take the JBL Link View for example. Google isn't really advertising a new product in the #MadebyGoogle category, here, but more of a platform for OEMs to build upon.

Available in a soft Grey or natural Bamboo color, the Smart Display is flexible too.

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