Amazon’s Alexa has become the household name when it comes to smart assistants, but its ongoing fight with Google Assistant is getting more difficult than expected. Products can support both Alexa and the Google Assistant, and since smart home companies want to sell products to as many customers as possible, Alexa has been getting fewer and fewer exclusive victories. Google used its massive presence at CES this week to send a message that it has bigger plans for the Assistant, too. Even at other companies’ exhibits, Google deployed employees dressed in white clothes and Assistant-themed hats to talk visitors through the features it could provide on third-party devices. It also launched a new interpreter mode on Google Assistant that’s being piloted at hotels in Las Vegas, New York, and San Francisco. In contrast, Amazon’s presence felt small. Amazon had two main booths — one for Ring and another for Amazon Key — neither of which seemed fully prepared. At both booths, live demos of important Amazon features were not available. Ring’s new Door View Cam wasn’t activated nor connected to the app, and one booth over, Amazon’s Key for Garage didn’t have much to show. In an interview before the show, Amazon’s SVP of devices and services Dave Limp said, “Customers do not care about an ad campaign on the Las Vegas Strip.” And that may be why its presence felt diminished. Alexa has already established itself in the smart home industry, while Google Assistant still feels like the underdog… [Read full story]
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