SCREEN-ENABLED SMART SPEAKERS GET GOOGLE ASSISTANT: Last week, Lenovo began shipping its Google Assistant-powered Smart Display, a screen-enabled smart speaker, according to Variety. The $200 Lenovo Smart Display has a touchscreen that can be oriented horizontally or vertically — similar to a tablet — and comes equipped with Google’s core services, such as the Google Play store, YouTube, and Duo for video calling. Smart speakers with screen displays — including Amazon’s Echo Show and Echo Spot, which previously dominated the market — can perform the same functions as basic smart speakers, but they offer the added ability for users to make video calls, watch videos, look at photos, and search the internet over voice or by touchscreen. Google’s partnership with screen-enabled speaker manufacturers will provide the tech giant with another avenue to reach consumers inside the home, as owners will be using its services like YouTube, Search, and the Google Play store on these devices. Lenovo’s Smart Display is the first of many Google Assistant-powered smart displays to hit the market — Google at CES 2018 announced partnerships with four speaker manufacturers to unveil Google Assistant-powered smart displays and will likely partner with more manufacturers.


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