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Home / Technology / Google exec does not exclude a Google Home with a screen

Google exec does not exclude a Google Home with a screen

  JBL Link View 15

Google does not rely solely on third-party smart displays like this JBL Link View to compete with the Amazon Echo Show.

Ben Fox Ruby / CNET

Google could continue to publish its own competitor for the Amazon Echo Show. Rishi Chandra, the search giant's vice president of home products, pointed to a first-party smart display in an interview with Variety on Monday. At least he has not ruled out a Google Home with a screen as a possibility. "It's a new category," he said. "I'm not saying we will not do it."

At CES in January, Google seemed content to leave its feedback on the Amazon Echo Show in the hands of third-party manufacturers. Google has partnered with four companies ̵

1; Sony, JBL, LG and Lenovo – to develop unique functionality for a handful of Google Assistant-based Smart Displays announced at CES . What we did not see was a smart ad created by the search giant itself.

Chandra said that Google wanted to let its partners go first but has long developed hardware from first and third party vendors. This is true to some extent for smart speakers, the pioneers of intelligent displays. Google's own smart speaker, Google Home, was released in 2016 as a competitor to the popular Amazon Echo.

The Google Home was available as the only option for a Google-equipped Smart Speaker until last fall. Set up with the small Home Mini and the king-sized Home Max . Third parties such as JBL and Sonos debuted shortly thereafter with their own Google-enabled smart speakers.

Smart speakers like Google Home listen to certain wake-up words and then respond to your voice commands as you speak. With your voice, you can search the Internet, control smart home devices, check your calendar, and more. Smart ads use a screen to take that functionality a step further by showing the answer to your question. You can see a map, for example, if you ask directions or watch a video, if you need help with cooking.

During my hands-on time with the upcoming Lenovo Smart Display at CES, I saw some of these features in action. As with other third-party smart displays announced at CES, they are expected to be launched this summer. Google may be able to dampen the excitement of these third-party devices if it actually has a smart ad in the pipeline.

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Amazon aroused similar controversy with its own Amazon Echo show. The CEO of a tech startup called Nucleus said that Amazon "probably copied us" with the show . The Nucleus Anywhere Intercom was a third-party device equipped with Amazon's assistant Alexa and had a screen that could be used as an intercom. According to the CEO of Nucleus, the small startup of Amazon was "thrown under the bus", which is a similar device.

A Google smart display would not be a Goliath crushing a David in the same way, since the four Google announced smart display partners are all well-established electronics companies, not tiny startups. The intention is only to give the customer many options when Google's smart display comes into play at all.

Google seemed to be hiding behind the four third-party smart displays at CES, but if a Google smart-screen is indeed in the works, I wonder if the search giant gets its tricks under control a separate device. As it stands, Google's first-party smart speakers can make calls, while third-party providers can not.

Google did not respond to CNET's request for a comment.

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