The world’s largest tech conference was held a year ago at CES and it was the same time when the search giant built an elaborate funhouse dedicated to Google Assistant. Google also plastered the words “Hey Google” — the trigger phrase for Assistant — all over Las Vegas. Also, the company turned the city’s monorail into moving billboards and hired an army of human “Google Assistants,” dressed in all-white, to wander the show floor. The tech show focuses on selling more consumer devices that compete against the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Samsung.
“We’ve spent a lot of energy over the last couple of years really getting the Assistant out,” said Scott Huffman, who leads engineering for Google Assistant. A digital assistant, he noted, isn’t very helpful if you don’t know it’s there.
According to Canalys, the company’s share of the market reduced to 12% from roughly 30%, while Amazon grew to 37% from about 32%. “Amazon had a head start and hasn’t let up,” said Avi Greengart, lead analyst at Techsponential. “Google needs to show its own momentum.”
The search giant has made several investments in consumer devices and in an event held in October, the company released the fourth generation of its flagship Pixel phone that comes with a top-of-the-line camera and radar tech for gesture controls. Moreover, the company debuted new mesh routers and smart speakers. “Whether it’s on computers, phones or smart speakers,” Greengart said, “wherever a search starts, Google wants to be a part of it.”