The annual consumer electronics show has been dominated by Asian tech giants Samsung, LG and Sony in recent years, along with a trade show floor featuring thousands of startups hoping lightning strikes with some Las Vegas-style luck. What you historically don't see at CES are the U.S.-based tech giants Apple, Amazon or Google, which tend to show off their new products at their own heavily produced media events later in the year. But CES 2018, which kicks off with events Sunday, will have a big presence from Google as it continues its push to take on Amazon's Echo connected speaker. More: How to choose the best smart speaker for you: shopper's guide The Las Vegas Monorail, which takes delegates to and from CES and city hotels, is splattered with a huge "Hey Google," advertisement, one of the two "wake words," people use to pose queries to the Google Assistant, most notably on the Google Home speaker. Google also has a large "Hey Google," booth right outside the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Not all voice assistants can handle the same requests. We put Siri, Alexa and Google to the test. LOS ANGELES – When you pose the simplest of questions to Siri and it can't answer "what's 1% of $1 million," yet Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant can, you know just how far behind Apple's assistant has fallen to rivals. Siri was the first voice assistant, announced in 2011 for the iPhone 4S, but over the past several years, Amazon and Google have rolled over it, by investing heavily and introducing many new features, while Siri "hasn't moved forward much," says Bret Kinsella, who runs the Voicebot.ai Apple traditionally takes center stage at its Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) to unveil new software features to whet app makers' appetites, and often they involve Siri.
A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. LAS VEGAS--When we wrapped up the 2018 CES show last January, we said this: "The one story that overshadowed everything else was the rivalry between Amazon and Google to get their connected speaker technology into as many products as possible, from speakers, stoves, refrigerators and even a shower to respond to your wishes." So how did the show go this year? Funny, it was déjà vu. The LG Signature OLED TV is the first rollup television.
OK, Google, so what's it going to be? Smart speakers, and the ability to use voice to listen to music, get traffic directions, the latest weather, news updates, recipes and more are among the most popular holiday gift items, with prices starting at around $25. (The Amazon Echo Dot even has a Black Friday sale price of $22.) But if you're new to the category, know that before you buy, you have to make a basic decision – which format to sign up to. Because both speakers don't always work with each other and once you master the commands for one, you're not going to want to use a different set on another speaker. For that reason, there are often simply "Google Homes," or "Alexa manors." Amazon, which launched the Echo speaker five years ago, in November 2014, continues to dominate smart speakers, with rival Google catching up.