It is now official — we are just part of the way through the first main media day of CES and Google Assistant is everywhere. Not only are we seeing them in speakers, televisions and headphones but now also in a smaller “smart display”.
At CES 2018 we have seen, so far, four new Google Assistant speakers with touchscreens announced and/or revealed. The four manufacturers are Sony, JBL, LG and Lenovo and all are powered by Android Things.
The smart displays allow you to use Google Assistant just as you would any other Google Assistant-enabled speaker such as a Google Home. They allow the users to view pictures, stream audio and video, view web pages and documents and video call with family and friends — all through voice control and Google Assistant. Of course all your compatible IoT devices can be controlled by the smart displays as well.
JBL Link View
The JBL Link View includes an 8 inch display nested in between two 10-watt stereo speakers and a rear-facing passive radiator for improved bass. Video calling is enabled with a 5MP camera (front facing obviously).
Other features include Google Cast support for multiroom audio and of course Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is IPX4 splash resistant making it ideal for a kitchen smart speaker.
With JBL’s background of making decent speakers at an affordable price they are hoping to capture the market for those looking for a decent sounding speaker.
The JBL Link View will be available mid-year in the US and at this stage Australian availability and pricing is unknown.
Lenovo Smart Display
The Lenovo Smart Display is the more plain-looking of the two announced today but comes with options. It is available in both and 8 inch and a 10 inch display which can be used in either landscape or portrait mode. Both with a single 10-watt speaker and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Lenovo has built the Google Assistant interface upon Qualcomm’s new Home Hub Platform with a Snapdragon 624 inside and is capable of streaming Full-HD video.
The Smart Display comes in Grey and Bamboo colours with availability expected mid-year. Australian availability and pricing is unknown at this stage but it is expected to be US$249 for the 10 inch model and US$199 for the 8 inch model in the US.
The other two smart displays at CES 2018 were seen sitting alongside Chris Turkstra, director of Google Assistant by CNet. Details, features and specs of these two are yet to be released by either LG or Sony. We will keep you posted as soon as we hear more.
Google Assistant is everywhere and we love it. How about you?