GOOGLE has made a new push to regain lost ground in the battle for voice-activated gadgets by upgrading its smart assistant to handle video screens.
The internet search company announced last night that it has teamed up with several consumer tech companies including Sony and LG to build smart speakers that feature touchscreens. In doing so, Google is attempting to catch up to Amazon, whose artificial intelligence-powered Echo dominates the market for smart speakers.
The rise of Amazon’s voice assistant, which is used for playing music and answering questions, threatens Google’s core business if consumers increasingly turn to smart speakers instead of search engines to find information.
Amazon released the Echo Show, a version of its speaker with a screen, last year.
Google is relying on third party manufacturers and giving its voice software away for free in an attempt to cast its net as widely as possible. It said Sony, LG, Lenovo and JBL had agreed to make video smart speakers, which can be used for checking Google Maps, making video calls and finding recipes.