Google Assistant Finds Its Way Into Third-Party Speakers And LG Appliances

In an announcement on Wednesday, Google revealed it has partnered with Anker, Mobvoi, and Panasonic for speakers with Google Assistant built directly into the product.

With most smart speakers now supporting the same small number of voice assistants, the race is on to find points of differentiation. It features two 20-mm soft dome tweeters, a 8cm woofer with a dual voice coil, and support for Bluetooth.

The Panasonic SC-GA10 will go on sale in early 2018. And Microsoft announced it's teaming up with Harman Kardon on a smart speaker that uses Cortana. It is also compatible with Panasonic's Music Control app.

Google is also at IFA 2017 and is announcing an updated presence of its Google Assistant. Google's Home speaker leads in revenue due to its price but Amazon's diverse Echo line wins in shipment numbers. The speaker looks like any other speaker that you might find for your TV or stereo. The company is yet to announce pricing information, but we can't imagine these are going to be a budget option next to the standard Google Home. Users will be able to interact with the Assistant as they would on their phone, Google Home, or Android Wear device, now simply on a wider variety of hardware. Google is also working on partnering with a bunch of home automation systems for Google Assistant; these include Honeywell, Netatmo and TP-Link.

The companies aren't just interested in selling speakers. Amazon already lets third-party speakers and devices use Alexa in their products, like the Fabriq speaker and an Ecobee thermostat.

Micro Center is selling the Google Home for as low as $90, which to be honest, is quite a steal deal.

All of these speakers come with far-field microphones built-in, able to detect voices from across the room and jump into action as soon as they hear the "OK Google" wake words. LG is one of the manufacturers called out specifically for adding this type of control to some upcoming appliances, but it was hinted that other OEMs will be on board as well. Apple's Siri-based smart speaker HomePod is expected later this year.

  • Eleanor Harrison