Google goes on the offensive at CES 2019
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Google goes on the offensive at CES 2019

The big news this week – at least in the technology sector – is this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. It’s the tech sector’s biggest event of the year, and often gives consumers a sneak peak at the trends that will be propelling technology over the next 11 months.

This year, two things in particular have stood out: first, the extent to which the sector’s big names (Amazon and Google) have made this about their voice controlled personal assistants; and second – Google’s sheer presence at CES! We covered some Amazon Alexa stuff earlier in the week – so here’s what you should know about Google.

Google went all out this year. It purchased the most expensive ad display available by writing “Hey Google” above the entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Centre. They used the same phrase when they turned the city’s monorail into a moving billboard. And they used it inside, too, as “Google Assistants” proudly wearing the phrase strolled through the show, diverting wanderer’s to Google’s incredible range of displays.

The search engine giant had plenty on show, but the truth is that this year was all about voice tech. Just prior to the show, Amazon announced it had shipped 100 million devices containing Alexa. Google’s shipments of voice-assistant carrying devices is way, way, higher than that – but direct comparisons don’t tell the whole story.

Probably the most impressive attraction Google put on this year was the Google Assistant rollercoaster. This ride – which takes more than three minutes – is designed to showcase the functionality of Google’s virtual personal assistant (VPA). And, thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch it below:

Fancy a ride on Google’s rollercoaster? Just press play

There’s no doubt Google is going all out to win in a segment that all the big players see as a major one over the coming months and years. But it still has a way to go. Amazon is estimated to have 41% of the smart speaker market, with Google in second place at 28%. That’s partly down to Amazon’s head start, but it’s also a reflection of how many third-parties are compatible with Alexa. Can Google make up the distance? That remains to be seen – but there’s no doubt that it’s pulling out all the stops in its effort to do so!

Disclosure
Dominion holds both Amazon and Alphabet (the parent company of Google) in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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