Later today the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas curtains. Five days, 182K+ attendees, 4.4K+ exhibiting companies, 1K speakers, and all the next-gen consumer electronics that’ll shape 2019.
One of the key CES trends (again) this year is the digital assistants with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant leading the way. Connected devices have been a central focus of CES for the past few years and because of Amazon’s move to open the Alexa eco-system to third-party applications, Alexa has been integrated into a countless number of devices giving her a head start but now the Google Assistant is catching up.
According to Google, integrations with digital assistants are no longer a differentiator. “Brands will need to showcase what people can actually do with these integrations. And they’ll have to go beyond novelty gimmicks that people try once then forget. The most successful integrations will be those that make the people’s lives easier and help them get things done” (Google). So, let’s take a look at how the Google Assistant will make your life easier in 2019.
…take me home”
What kind of Google Maps specialists would we be if this integration wasn’t our favorite one. Although Google actually started rolling out the feature in December, bringing the Google Assistant to Google Maps was one of Google’s announcements at this year’s CES.
With the Assistant in Google Maps you can now share your ETA with family and friends, reply to text messages, play music, search for places along your route, add stops, and auto-punctuate your massage. Just say, “Hey Google, take me home” to activate the Assistant and you’ll be ready to control your phone without taking your eyes off the road.
To make your car even safer Google is also working with Anker and JBL to built the Assistant into car accessories such as Ankers Roav Blot and JBL Link Drive. The accessories are plugged into your car’s sockets letting your connect your phone to your car’s stereo via Bluetooth or AUX. Once connected you can use the Assistant hands-free without having to unlock your phone. The accessories simplify the audio input and output and ensure that the Assistant hears you loud and clear even with loud music or conversation in the background.
...check in to my flight”
There’s also good news for all air travelers who - like me - struggle to keep track of tickets, check-in times, hotel addresses, and more when traveling. Soon you’ll be able to check in to your flight and save and retrieve your boarding pass with the Google Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, check in to my flight” and it’ll do the work for you.
Likewise, the Assistant will notify you when it’s time to check in. It can even book you a hotel room and if you’re lucky the airport you’re traveling to/from will have indoor navigation built with Google Maps guiding you all the way from your front door to you final destination.
...be my French interpreter”
Ever wanted to speak a different language but never gotten around to sign up for a class? Well with the Google Assistant you can now speak dozens of languages without signing up for anything - or at least you can communicate with people speaking a different language.
With Interpreter Mode rolling out on Google Home devices and Smart Displays over the next few weeks, the Google Assistant can help you make conversation in other languages. Just say, “Hey Google, be my French interpreter” to get real time spoken (and on Smart Displays) written translation to aid the conversation.
...what else is new with the Assistant?”
Besides integrating the Assistant into several of their own products, Google has also introduced a preview of Google Assistant Connect. Connect is a platform for device manufactures to bring the Assistant into their products in an inexpensive and easy way. Connect uses Google’s existing smart home platform to expand to new device types while making setup simple for people.
Other products with the Google Assistant that were showcased at this year’s CES are the Lenovo Smart Clock and the KitchenAid Smart Display. Google is also bringing the Assistant to Sonos One and Sonos Beam and later this year the Google Assistant will work with several media and entertainment devices, including Samsung TVs and it’ll be integrated in Android TV devices from several brands.
If you want to read more about the Assistant in Google Maps or other Maps related news, check out our Google blog.