The fight between Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa, and Google assistant was very eminent and obvious in the CES 2018. Like every year, CES showed a great variety of upcoming gadgets and advancements to watch out for in the upcoming year.
The absence of Cortana in devices other than Microsoft systems has greatly contributed to its downfall in the market. The distribution of, for example, Alexa and its ability to control smart homes, has tempted and helped it gain more and more customers. The only Cortana device launched at the CES this year was the Cortana powered Thermostat, whereas many Alexa- controlled devices like smartwatches, cars, headphones, microwaves, etc, were announced. The lack of hardware for Microsoft in the form of devices integrated with far-field microphones has also been noticed for the past few years. And now, companies like HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer have already launched many Alexa- controlled devices in CES.
Google, on the other hand, is giving a tough fight to Alexa, as seen in this year’s CES. A line of “Smart Displays” constructed by JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony has been announced. These are devices controlled by Google Assistant AND also have screens (just like Echo Show). The launching of these devices makes the target of Google very obvious- Echo Show. The fact that the presence of a screen in these devices will also enable the user to use Google Maps, YouTube, Google Duo, etc, gives it an edge over Echo Screen.
Google also announced 1500 new devices which will be Google Assistant- controlled. These include Assistant- optimized headphones, Android Auto which can be used in cars to control the music or get directions, Android TVs, etc.
Even though Google has been able to lock horns with Alexa, it still does not seem to be enough for Google to win the battle. Alexa dominated at the CES this year. Many new Alexa- controlled devices had already been launched even before CES began (like Alexa- capable headphones by Jabra, mesh router by Asus, etc). Alexa also announced its integration in Windows 10 systems in the coming time.
The most sought-after Alexa- controlled devices are the upcoming cars to be associated with Alexa. Companies like BMW and Nissan had already launched cars integrated with Alexa (announced in the previous CES), but this year, Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, has announced the integration of Alexa in models of Sienna and Lexus this year. Even though Ford enables not just Alexa, but also Android Auto in some of its models, Toyota hasn’t yet done that. It has only planned to use one assistant (Alexa), for now, and if this continues, it may prove to be a big milestone for Alexa.
With many other devices like Garmin Speak, Roav Viva, etc, Alexa will dominate the Auto- industry. With these devices, Alexa will be able to help the drivers to not just navigate around the city but to also give you collision warnings and information about the traffic ahead. The best part- it will be super affordable and will be available by the end of this year!
With CES 2018 wrapping up, one thing is clear, Alexa is no doubt, winning the battle and more importantly, giving realistic and applicable advancements for the common man to actually look forward to.