Ces 2019


(Simon B) #1

It’s January, and that means CES is almost upon us.

5G is expected to be the star of the show - many carriers across the world have committed to it, and the first 5G popular consumer devices from the likes of Samsung should be arriving this year too. With that said, mainstream adoption of it likely won’t happen for another year or two.

CES will probably once again be a battleground for the Google Assistant VS Alexa war. I’ll spare you all my ramblings about how Google Assistant is still vastly superior, but it’ll be interesting to see the new types of devices that end up connected to either or both of the platforms.

Cars, AR/VR, Wearables, Phones… Not sure what if we’ll see anything particularly interesting in any of these areas… What do you think?

Furthermore, is anyone here attending the show?


(Richard) #2

Go on enlighten us please :wink:

Can see this ending up as it’s own forum thread already…


(Simon B) #3

Accuracy, for a start. In the most recent survey, Google Assistant answered 88% of questions correctly, compared to 72% for Alexa.

Personal information analysis is second. Google can pull in accurate information that relates to my specifics needs, like my Calendar appointments, travel plans pulled from Gmail, curated YouTube info etc. It can leverage Chromecast and Chromecast Audio for reliable video and or audio sync to any other device.

It’s more inclusive, in the sense that it does the best job of recognising accents.

But the thing that makes the most difference to me on probably a daily basis is subjective, but attempting to use other systems like Alexa is frustrating, and that’s down to the way third party integrations work.

If, for example, I happen to know (or read a tweet/news briefing) that a certain service is now available on Google Home and Alexa, with Google, all I’ll need to do is say “Hey Google, talk to x” and it’ll do it. Or even quicker, if the use case is obvious, it could be one command - “Hey Google, find out Y from X”. Job done.

With the Alexa system, I need to go into the app (which is also quite convoluted and doesn’t have great UX, IMO), navigate to the list of integrations, search for the integration, manually enable it, and only then can I launch the voice command.

The other day I tried to do this on the Echo Dot I have lying around and the search function in the app didn’t even work at all. So I then had to go into Alexa Skills from the actual Amazon website and enable it from there! Adding yet another unnecessary step to the process.

The simple fact is that all Amazon have is first-mover advantage and retail specialisms. But that’s not what makes a smart hub device magical. You need that contextual advantage, of all the things that Google knows about you, and your family, to really make something great.

For example, on my Google Home Hub, it displays my best photos from Google Photos, in real time. It displays highlights and it’s truly joyous, it’s like the world’s smartest digital photo frame, even if you ignore all the other stuff! And it consistently makes me smile with the photos it’s chosen. If you compare that to the Echo Show…I don’t even know what that shows by default. The time and weather maybe?


(Jack) #4

Always look forward to CES :raised_hands:t3:

Wish I could go!
Are you attending Simon?


(Simon B) #5

Sadly no - it’s on my bucket list (along with San Diego Comic Con!)


#6

Always look forward to CES! Sadly cannot go as I’m in school and love in the U.K. :pensive:

Hope to go in a year or two however.


#7

I went last year. Gutted not to be there this year, although I think one in five is enough to avoid any duplication. Things need a chance to evolve properly before it’s worth the time and expense again…


(Marc Dando) #8

I’m wondering if Google will unveil the Pixelbook 2.


(Simon B) #9

It seems Google are following a yearly hardware cycle, and their event was just a few months back when they announced the Pixel Slate. But with that said there is this rumored “Pixel 3 Lite” coming out so maybe they will released additional hardware too!


(Gareth) #10

I do like my Echo Show (although I mainly use it as a radio alarm clock / spotify speaker). It sounds way better than my Google Home. I got it brand new for £99 and they weren’t selling the Google Home Max here at that point

Google are definitely ahead with smart assistants though as you pointed out (I do also have a Google Home).

Regarding the skill thing on the echo, you should be able to ask it to enable the skill by voice. Only if it requires account linking do you need to open the Alexa app and it puts it on the feed if you have already asked it. (I agree the Alexa app isn’t the best though).

My Amazon echo also seems to have got worse at voice recognition recently and randomly activates way more than it did previously. This opinion is shared by my work colleagues.

(sorry, this is a tad off topic)


(Marc Dando) #11

https://chromeunboxed.com/news/ces-alert-asus-could-drop-an-armada-of-chromebooks/

I’m also keeping my eye out to see whether ASUS show off an updated Flip C302 :slightly_smiling_face:


(Richard) #12

Well put…

I literally use me Alexa for Spotify and to add things to my shopping list. So can’t debate any of that you have just said there :slight_smile:


(Simon B) #13

Looks like LG is going all-in with Google Assistant on their new TV’s, including 8K ones…


(Brandon Billingham) #14

but also supporting Alexa. I think this is ultimately a good thing, more choice. I currently use Alexa through the Sonos and my biggest frustration is unlike the HomePod it can’t hear me when music is playing.


(Marc Dando) #15

Ooo nice :slightly_smiling_face:


(Marcel W.) #16

This seems like a great idea, if it works :smiley: