For the first time in years, Google had an official stand-alone booth at CES – a sign to buyers that it is ready to collaborate with both top brands and startups in the race for voice assistant dominance.
“Google’s presence at CES is equally designed to reach not only consumers, but also developer ecosystems as well,” said research analyst Werner Goertz, as reported by The Washington Post.
The voice assistant market is poised for continued growth, with a quarter of all household requests expected to be made through voice assistants by 2019. Currently, Amazon’s Echo devices hold 67 percent of the smart speaker market, while Google has 25 percent.
And while Apple’s HomePod is launching later this year, Google is aiming to be the only assistant a person needs every day. Right now, Google Assistant is in 400 million devices worldwide, up from 100 million in July 2017.
“You should have the same assistant helping you across all the contexts of your life,” said Scott Huffman, vice president for Google Assistant.
Experts note that Google does have certain advantages over Amazon, such as its deep knowledge of search and how users make requests. Not only does Google have a built-in audience, but Google Assistant is also built into the Android operating system, making it more mobile than Alexa.
“There are certain spaces open to challengers, such as Google and maybe even the other guys,” Goertz said.
Although Amazon didn’t have an official presence at CES last year, Alexa did show up in some products, such as speakers and ceiling fans. Google Assistant is expected to have the same showing at CES this year, being showcased in everything from kitchen appliances to autos, in addition to its own booth.