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etvfutures.com January 17, 2018


Behind smart gadgets, Amazon and Google waging a big war

12 January 2018, 06:28 | Lucia Cruz

Behind smart gadgets, Amazon and Google waging a big war

Toyota will offer Alexa in its cars starting later this year

While on the road with a connection to the Internet, Alexa can provide directions, the news, access audio books, adjust smart home settings or a number of other voice-command tasks.

Google, which has not traditionally had a big presence at CES, was out in a big way as it plastered Las Vegas with its ads in a bid to show that Google Assistant is indeed everywhere. It is estimated Google Home will capture 25 percent of the smart speaker market in 2018, while Amazon's Echo will command a 68 percent. The battle between Amazon and Google in the smart speaker sector is a closely watched race by industry observers. Amazon has also earlier launched Alexa Mobile Accessory kit, opening the gates for Alexa to headphones, smartwatches and fitness devices.

This push could include a revamp of Google's online store, selling Alphabet products with Google Assistant front and center. At the same time, Amazon offered a set of tools created to help other companies build Alexa into their own devices. Analysts say some consumers find it more natural to manipulate smart devices like door locks, lightbulbs and televisions with their voice instead of smartphone apps or dedicated remotes.

"That means "Alexa, ask Kohler to flush my toilet" is something you might end up saying in the near future", mused Blair Hanley Frank at news site Venturebeat.

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Developed by a third-party Company Vuzix Corp the glasses that are set to retail for around A$1,300 the offering is a unique development as Vuzix is only a small 75-person Company who is using the global marketing might of Amazon to market the new glasses.

Apple and Google have big leads, since their rival digital assistants are already on millions of smartphones and computers, according to Blau.

Google is anxious that Alexa could threaten Google Assistant in overall market share. The CES announcement about Toyota is just the latest sign of Alexa's growing reach. One way Google is reportedly looking to do that is by launching a revamped online store in February.

And of course, the data that a large audience would churn out while interacting via voice day by day is what both of these giant companies really want.



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