Behind smart gadgets, Amazon and Google waging a big war


Alexa will let drivers and passengers get directions, control entertainment features, get the news and perform other functions in the vehicle via voice command, the companies said Tuesday at the CES consumer electronics conference in Las Vegas. We'll update this story if we get a response. Acer confirms that Alexa will let users manage their calendar, create lists and answer questions by passing simple voice commands. Just like the home version, Toyota's Alexa implementation can also gain skills from third party developers.

Acer's batch of Alexa-supported devices include Aspire, Spin, Switch, and Swift notebook series.

The competition to build software people can manage with their voice is one of the hottest topics in consumer technology, drawing, in addition to Amazon and Google, the attention of giants like Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. Similarly, there is a custom LED to indicate Alexa's activeness - similar to Amazon Echo speakers. The Pavilion Wave will be launching in spring this year, with a starting price of $550. The system has seventh-generation Intel Core processors, up to 16GB RAM, and Cortana-preloaded Windows 10. Amazon has also earlier launched Alexa Mobile Accessory kit, opening the gates for Alexa to headphones, smartwatches and fitness devices.

Google and Amazon are key players in the trend, with their rival Assistant and Alexa voice-commanded virtual aides being woven deeper into consumer electronics and vehicles.

Alexa is also making its way deeper into the realm of Microsoft's Cortana. Instead of an advertising blitz, its Alexa digital assistant has merely been popping up regularly in "smart" products across the convention - everything from mirrors and toilets to headphones and vehicle dashboards.

LG is not entirely straightforward about the technical specifications of the WK9 either, merely listing on the Korean company's official United States website support for proprietary ThinQ Artificial Intelligence capabilities, "premium class sound" tuned by Meridian Audio, the 8-inch size of the product's touch screen display, and both built-in Google Assistant and Chromecast functionality.

As with HP, the Pavilion Wave will be the first to come designed specifically with offerings for voice interactions via Amazon Alexa.