Amazon Vies with Google for Good-Gadget Dominance

Amazon Vies with Google for Good-Gadget Dominance

At the annual CES conference this week, we even saw a Whirlpool dishwasher with Alexa support, and a bathroom mirror made by Kohler. That constrained consumers in how they used the service, Whitten said, with many just speaking in short search terms, much like the ones one would enter with a keyboard. It's getting easier than ever to control every mundane appliance and task around you with the voice assistant of your choice - but an ever-smarter home still comes with compromises. Yes, we are at a stage where the most humble of household devices, the light switch, has been given a microphone, speakers, and a blue pulsating light to indicate when it is listening - and when it is thinking.

The two companies - and to a lesser extent, Apple, with Siri, and Microsoft, with Cortana - are waging a fierce struggle to establish their assistants as de facto standards for a new generation of voice-controlled devices. These upliftments are available to enhance Alexa experience. But that's not all, because in addition to Vuzix's homemade smartphone companion app, the Blade also sports built-in Alexa integration.

The Echo Dot was the best seller across Amazon and other retailers in the segment during the holidays. The tower-like has Intel Smart Sound Technology that is claimed to deliver 360-degree, multi-directional reflective audio.

For Alexa fans, and Amazon, more competition is a great thing.


Still, Alexa is going to be around for at least a few more years.

French firm Miliboo proudly showed off its self-proclaimed Smart Couch, a sofa which reportedly doubles as an interactive control platform for the entire home - including smart home devices, the internet, TV and music. Said Erickson, the higher the profile of Google Assistant on consumer electronics, the more the undeniable need for other developers to incorporate it into their gadgets will be. Alexa continued to have an edge over Assistant and other assistants this year at CES, and Google's show-held in a tent outdoors-got ruined by unexpected rain in Las Vegas.

One example: During the demo, Bibo Xu, a Google Assistant product manager, asked for a list of restaurants nearby, then tapped on the screen to select one of the results and bring up its location in Google Maps.

Google does aim targeting Amazon's Alexa with this device. New York-based Vuzix already showcased the first Alexa-enabled augmented reality (AR) glasses that would go on sale in the second quarter this year with a cost of around $1,000 (roughly Rs. 63,400).

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