CES 2018 Highlights: Amazon, LG, Asus and Many More Announcements


LG Chief Technology Officer Il-pyung Park speaks to CNET in his first interview since getting the job. Sarah Tew CNET

Industry watchers are struggling to keep up with all the different devices that Amazon has partnered with on Alexa, but it's clear the company has been busy making friends with manufacturers over the past year. Google's decision to respond to Alexa's dominance of CES 2017 marks a shift in its narrative, suggesting a more aggressive promotion of assistant services could be coming. Smart displays are essentially speakers with tablet-like displays that can play music, control your smart home and provide visuals as well. The company announced that its Assistant will be available in all vehicles that run its Android Auto software. Of course, audio was a big thing this year, but that should be nothing new as companies use CES to unveil new headphones and other types of audio all the time.

Bloomberg reports the online store will place a much greater emphasis on its own products, like Nest devices, in an attempt to double down on Assistant. 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.

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The bathroom of the future is also getting a makeover thanks to a wealth of smart home devices which will either prove either extremely useful or just plain creepy.

"We'll have to see how that works out", Google's Scott Huffman, a Google VP, said. A smart display has a tablet-sized screen that lets you see lists, pictures, and even video solutions to your queries.

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Google's Assistant also wasn't too far behind Alexa, with the company launching a range of new smart displays and other devices powered by the Assistant. While the intention for attaching a screen to an Echo might have been for the goal of something else entirely, Google thinks they can do one better than Amazon did, with their own Smart Displays running Google Assistant. Sporting a tiny DLP projector that spits images onto its full colour see-through display, the Blade's uses waveguide optics to project a tiny display onto the right lens of some surprisingly normal-looking glasses. "Five years from now, we're not quite sure either".

Another product category this year was smart speakers which were either powered by Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa, though it does seem that there were more speakers or devices with Google Assistant integrated into them.

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These are just some of the avaialble Google Actions. Similarly, the company's Alexa-powered InstaView ThinQ fridge boasts a 29-inch touchscreen to display suggested recipes based on what's inside.

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