CES 2018: the battle of the virtual assistants

Several thousand people descended on a wet and dreary Las Vegas as the world’s largest technology showcase opened to the public. As Ivor Bennett reports, voice assistance and artifical intelligence are this year’s hottest trends.

(Reuters) – If you wish life could be that little bit easier sometimes, then this is the place for you

You don’t have to walk at the Consumer Electronics Show.

There are even robots to clean your windows.

But for the most help around the house, there are voice activated virtual assistants.


“This year the big trends are in voice assistance and artificial intelligence (AI), so think Amazon Alexa, the Google assistant. Samsung has their own virtual assistant called Bixby and LG does too called ThinQ.”

They can take a while to respond sometimes.

But so long as the rest of your home is connected, in theory you can control just about anything.


“To vacuum your floors when you are not at home, to turn lights on or off, to check on your kids through cameras either through your phone or TV. What we currently have in our TV is the flexibility of being able to give it commands.”

Amazon started the trend for smart speakers with its ‘Alexa’ in 2014.

And has since moved into smart displays too.

But it now faces stiff competition, with Google unveiling its own tablet-like device here.


“This year is a very big year for Google, they’ve actually got their own stand-alone booth and they are showing off a bunch of different products. They have entered a brand-new category area themselves, so they are taking on Amazon directly.”

There are some tasks, like locking the door, that are just easier to do yourself.

But if you think it’s all bit too much, and have money to burn, then you have a lot to look forward to.