Who's winning the virtual assistant tech takeover?

The race to take control of your smart home is on...
by
Who's winning the virtual assistant tech takeover?

Alexa swiftly on the rise post-CES 2017

This time last year, we’d all have said: “Alexa-who?” But Amazon has done a stellar job of establishing its virtual assistant in the mainstream, now challenging long-time market leaders, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Following the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this January, it’s clear Alexa is destined for more than its smart home hub origins. Manufactures such as Samsung, Ford, Philips, and Belkin - to name just a few - are offering Alexa connectivity to their IoT tech, in what looks like the first example of all-round integration. The Huawei Mate 9 Pro will also be the first smartphone to host Alexa as its inbuilt assistant.

Amazon’s vice president of Echo, Mike George, credited Alexa’s rapid growth to the work of partnership: “We now today have over 7,000 custom skills that third party developers have built to enhance Alexa,” he commented. “And we have a rich pipeline of Alexa voice service equipment that will be released over the coming months.”

Where does this leave Google Assistant?

Not to be outdone, Google has announced that its own little helper, Google Assistant, will be escaping the home hub too, and making its way to Android TV.

Google’s Android TV director, Sascha Prueter, writes in a blog post: “The Google Assistant is making its way to Android TV in the coming months. As part of an upcoming update on supported TVs and set-top boxes powered by Android TV, you’ll be able to ask the Google Assistant for help so you can enjoy the content you love, faster than ever, on the best screen in your house.”

Here are a few things you’ll be able to ask it when it launches:

  • Play content: “Play Stranger Things on Netflix.”
  • Discover content: “Search YouTube for Jimmy Kimmel." And you can also ask a follow-up if you’re interested in more videos by saying: "Play the second one.”
  • Get answers: “Tell me about Jurassic Park?”
  • Set the right mood: “Dim the lights.”
  • Get ready for your day: “How long will it take to get to work?”

Assistant and Android TV

So, where’s everyone else?

There are rumours of Apple introducing a Siri-powered standalone device, although information is pretty thin on the ground at the moment, while Microsoft is gearing up to launch Cortana into the connected space.

At CES, Microsoft announced a partnership with Nissan, which would presumably mean a connected dashboard. Microsoft general manger, Ryan Gavin, commented that the entire Microsoft ecosystem has a part to play in Cortana’s “battle for the future”, reports Business Insider. So, watch this space.

Anything to add? Join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

comments powered by Disqus
After starting life in the States, Google Home has finally made its way to the UK. This is everythin
If you're looking to transform your home into a smart home this Christmas, these products are our to
Sonos has announced that you'll be able to control its wireless home speaker system with Amazon Echo

18 November, 2019
Looking for a new phone with a great camera? The Nokia 6.2 and Nokia 7.2 might be...
15 November, 2019
Excited for Android 10? Here’s our round up of the best new features including Dark...
5 November, 2019
Excited for the Moto G8 Plus and Moto One Macro? Get the latest specs and features...
28 October, 2019
We want to make sure you're up to date with all the latest smartphones, so we'll...
18 October, 2019
Excited about the new OPPO Reno 2? We check out the Quad cameras, battery life and...

18 November, 2019
Looking for a new phone with a great camera? The Nokia 6.2 and Nokia 7.2 might be...
5 November, 2019
Excited for the Moto G8 Plus and Moto One Macro? Get the latest specs and features...
28 October, 2019
We want to make sure you're up to date with all the latest smartphones, so we'll...
2 October, 2019
Love watching movies and Netflix on your phone? The Sony Xperia 5 might just be your...
18 September, 2019
iOS 13 is the latest update to Apple's operating system, and it's packed with great...
28 July, 2019
We often take our high-speed broadband connections for granted, but where did it...
25 July, 2019
With faster speeds, less lag and more devices, how could 5G transform the gaming...
28 June, 2019
If you use dating apps, use our tips to secure your match, from creating a great...
5 June, 2019
Here’s the lowdown on exactly what Google Lens is, what it can do for you and how...
31 May, 2019
Done with your old phone? Help the environment out by using it for something completely...
26 May, 2019
As much as we love the hot weather, it can cause your phone to overheat faster. Keep...
20 May, 2019
From AI camera technology to wide-angled selfies, here are our top five tips for...