Earlier this year, at CES 2018 Google announced its Smart Displays platform, which debuted with the aid of device makers like LG, Lenovo and JBL. Now things are coming full circle as the speakers made by those companies using Google Assistant and Smart Displays are ready to hit the market. During today’s Google I/O 2018 debut we learned more about the project.
These speakers will be made available from July, with screens included and Google Assistant in its latest iteration. They’re all meant to compete with the Amazon Echo Show and the future Facebook smart speaker. The devices will come with one or two speakers and YouTube TV integration, as well as a feature that lets you look up recipes.
All of the smart display devices are powered by the Android Things OS, with the promise of 3 years of OTA updates from Google, so no problem with keeping the units up to speed. It appears that Sony is also making a device of this sort. Taking them one by one, first up is Lenovo Smart Display, in 8 or 10 inch versions and with a plastic body for the smaller unit, while the bigger one gets a bamboo body.
The 8 incher is $199 and the larger one is $249. Next up is JBL Link View, with an 8 inch touchscreen and two 10W stereo speakers, with the promise of rich deep bass. The oval shape may be a bit offputting. At least there’s support for Bluetooth, Google Cast and IPX4 splash resistance. LG WK9 rounds up the list with a car stereo-like design, two speakers of its own and not many hardware details to know.
We await news on the Sony version… By the way John Legend’s voice will be coming to the Google Assistant pretty soon.