Over the past few years the CES trade show has become a familiar post-holidays pilgrimage for many of the country's biggest marketers. They see the event as a way to get a sneak peek at the latest tech gadgets and technologies that can help them engage with their customers. This year marketing executives from companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell Soup and PepsiCo Inc. made their way to Las Vegas for the gathering. The convention was jam-packed with everything from self-driving cars to robots that play chess to Procter & Gamble's air-freshener spray that can connect with Alphabet Inc.'s Nest home to automatically release pleasant scents in the home. But there was one category that seemed to especially win over marketers: virtual assistants.
Our modern age is rife with questions that could have been (indeed, often were) posed by genre writers such as Ray Bradbury, H. G. Wells or Philip K. Dick. We'd like to pose a few of our own: Is it truly safe to put our lives in the "hands" of self-driving cars? Is Amazon's Alexa spying on our idle chatter? What happens when smart machines become smarter than the people who operate them? Many of the most critical questions brought about by advancing technology are related to work.
Google's aptly named AI helper, Google Assistant, is poised to have a great year in 2019. Not only will the digital assistant be spreading to numerous devices old and new, but there are a host of new features coming, too, several of which were shown off at CES 2019 last week. This list of upcoming Google Assistant updates is long, and it can be overwhelming trying to parse out all the different announcements and keep track of when these new features will finally be available. To help, we've curated a rundown detailing the best and most important updates coming for Google Assistant in the next few months, including what devices these new features have been announced for, their expected release dates, and how to enable them (when available). By far, the most hyped new Assistant feature at CES was the Interpreter Mode.
Google has predicted flight delays for a while, but only if you've searched for a flight yourself. Wouldn't it be better if it warned you before you packed your bags? In addition to bringing delay predictions to Assistant, Google is rolling out proactive warnings over the next few weeks. If your post-holidays return trip is likely to start late, Assistant will both let you know and provide a reason if one is available. You'll know to grab an extra book or TV episode for that longer wait at your gate.