Google At CES 2019: What’s New With The Assistant?

Isaac Cain
January 9, 2019

Google has made a splash with their own take on the Assistant smart display but now we're seeing more OEMs take hold of the form-factor and that has lead to some interesting new devices. The speaker will begin translating in real-time. It'll also notify you when the check-in facility becomes available, so you can use your voice or do it manually.

Google is also adding a feature that will allow Android users to access the assistant even with the phone locked.

Among the new Google Assistant devices that the search giant talks about in its official blog post, Lenovo's new Smart Clock is probably the most exciting. On Android, Assistant will work with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and others, though Google cautions that functionality will vary by service.

Interpreter Mode is an example of Google leveraging its strengths to bolster its digital assistant and the products it powers. The feature will be rolling out in the next few weeks. As well as being a dual-USB auto charger to keep your devices topped up on the road, the $50 Bolt adds Google Assistant directly to your vehicle. I watched it interpret conversations from English to Chinese and Chinese to German - Interpreter Mode supports translations between 27 different languages - using both voice and text. The Roav Bolt is now on pre-order at $49.99 (roughly Rs. 3,500) and the shipping will start April 2019. Using the new "Gently Wake Up" feature, the Philips Hue lights in your bedroom will simulate the sunrise 30 mins before your alarm goes off.

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Users say 'Hey Google, send my ETA, ' and Assistant will text your arrival time to any of your contacts. You can then say "Hey Google, check in to my flight", and Assistant will check in for you.

Earlier this year, Google launched the Home Hub that's basically a voice-activated touchscreen mounted on top of a stand and can play YouTube videos, show recipes and handle other common commands like showing the weather, traffic updates and more.

For example, "Hey Google, I'd like to book the Cambria Hotel in NY on January 12th". At the moment, this will only be available for domestic flights in the U.S. operated by United Airlines. There is no word on when either of the feature will be released for the worldwide consumers.

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