Google is hoping to catch up with Alexa’s reach by putting its Assistant on a wide range of third-party hardware. At IFA, Google announced that it’s going to be putting the Assistant on partner speakers, appliances, connected cameras, and much more.
That’s likely to be good for both the voice-powered assistant market, as well as for Google’s ability to use its service to collect useful data which it can then use to work on its advertising and marketing products. The more places Assistant appears, the more likely it is that people will engage with the voice companion, and that’s not territory that Google wants to cede to someone like Amazon.
Some of the devices getting Google Assistant coming to IFA include the Anker Zolo Mojo, a small cylinder speaker that’s sort of like a third-party Google Home, which will go on sale in late October. Two other smart speakers powered by Assistant, including the Panasonic GA10 and the TicHome Mini, are also on their way.
Google is also now making it possible to use Assistant to check on the state of your laundry or dishes, using an integration with LG’s line of home appliances, which also includes voice commands for LG’s Roomba competitor.
This is definitely turning into an integration arms race for voice-powered assistant providers. Amazon and Google have strong motivation because of their data-focused business, but it’ll be interesting to see how Apple plays the game once its HomePod debuts with Siri support – I have a hard time imagining the iPhone-maker will put Siri on third-party hardware.