Microsoft’s Cortana may have been the first “assistant” between Google and Microsoft, but the Google’s Assistant appears to be becoming more widespread at a faster rate than Microsoft’s solution.
At IFA this week, the firm has announced that it would be bringing Google Assistant to more speakers and Homepod like devices.
In a blog post, Google says:
With the Assistant on speakers, you can ask questions (“Ok Google, how far away is the moon?”), keep up with your schedule (“Ok Google, tell me about my day”), control your smart home (“Ok Google, dim the living room lights”) and more. You can also expect your same Google Assistant to be, well, just about the same across speakers—so you can cast music and set multiple accounts to work on one speaker. That way your Assistant will be able to distinguish your voice from your roommate or partner. And since it’s the Google Assistant, you can expect great speech recognition, natural language processing and the ability to ask those “tough” contextual questions (“Where is the Eiffel Tower?” Followed by, “How tall is it?”)
Already, Sony and LG have come out with Google Assistant powered speakers today, and Google has highlighted the Zolo Mojo by Anker, TicHome Mini by Mobvoi and the GA10 by Panasonic.
That’s not all Google’s Assistant is going to power, users will be able to to use Google Assistant to control everyday home appliances like your washing machine, your dryer and more. It’ll work with Assistant on the iPhone and Android, and you’ll be able to send commands and ask queries like “Is the laundry done”.
Microsoft–while not exactly being competitive at the moment –is also working on similar features for Cortana. This week we just received news of Cortana and Alexa now working together for more cross-device functionality, and there’ll likely be more speakers like the Harmon Kardon Invoke coming down the pipeline. However, if Microsoft really wants to push Cortana as an experience outside of WIndows PCs, it’ll have to work hard and iterate fast. Like with mobile. the period where Microsoft can gain relevance in this market is fast closing, and it can no longer rely on the dwindling Windows PC market to give it a boost.