LG puts Google Assistant in its own touchscreen-equipped speaker


LG Chief Technology Officer Il-pyung Park speaks to CNET in his first interview since getting the job. Sarah Tew CNET

At CES 2018, Gourmia, a designer and manufacturer of countertop kitchen appliances, has unveiled five new Internet of Things (IoT) smart kitchen appliances that integrate with Google Assistant, part of the Google Home eco-system.

Even though a Google spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment, Google vice president of engineering Scott Huffman confirmed the company wants to spread Assistant to mobile devices, home gadgets, and cars to Bloomberg.

The Lenovo Smart Display will be available starting this summer, in two sizes. The device could take the driver's orders to let him/her show the directions or to play a particular music. You don't have to think about using your Smart Display. Lenovo's Smart Display, for instance - our Best IoT/Smart Home award victor this year - pairs the AI technology with two different sizes of touchscreen, aiming to conquer a place on the kitchen counter that until now might have been home to an Amazon Echo Show.

Since Google Assistant is built in, the Smart Display can do everything a Google Home can do. This is perhaps due to the growth of services such as control of smart home devices and playing media - rather than being coy about speaking to a smart device the temptation is to show off the device and demonstrate it's capabilities. This is a great feature, especially for those with fears of unauthorized spying or those who just absolutely want to make sure that the camera can not see anything. This will likely be put to the test now that the companies will try drive the cost of devices back to the intended selling price, thus ensuring a profit from the sales of the goods. Those skills allow users to control devices and to get access to online information on specific topics.

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"We've seen tremendous excitement with the Lenovo Smart Display, LG Smart Speaker, Harman/JBL working with our Home Hub platform - and this is just the beginning", said Qualcomm spokesperson Liz Sweeney.

In terms of features, it's similar to Lenovo's offering.

According to Panasonic, the integration will enable drivers to use Alexa to control their heating, media, navigation, and more. The JBL Link View's stereo speakers could do just that. Further reports reveal that Google's efforts of reminding fans of the existence of the Google Assistant has also extended to huge advertisement billboards. Video calling is handled by Duo, which means it should be fairly easy to reach people - most Android phones come with it pre-installed, though you may have to persuade iPhone owning friends and family to visit the App Store first.

The pair are also working to make certain Alexa capabilities available to drivers when the vehicle is not connected to a network.

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