CES 2019: Google Says Hey, in Major Way


Google didn’t debut any new products at this year’s CES, but that didn’t stop the tech giant from making its presence known in a major way. From massive building and tram advertisements to its very own Tomorrowland-like ride, Google’s shadow (and slogan) loomed large.

In lieu of new physical devices, Google announced some major updates to Google Assistant, including a new real-time language interpreter feature, integration into Google Maps, and opening the door to Google Assistant for third-party manufacturers via the just-announced Google Assistant Connect toolkit. Each of these three announcements suggests a further expansion of Google’s already ubiquitous marketplace reach. The real-time interpreter feature, for example, which will support 27 languages at rollout, feels like genuine progress toward the goal of knocking down language barriers and connecting people in a way previously not achievable. Similarly, the update to Google Maps to include Google Assistant means that Google will have greater access to a demographic that probably isn’t using its smart assistant as much as the company would like: Apple users. Google Assistant Connect, meanwhile, appears to be the key to expanding the Google Assistant ecosystem. Essentially, it’s a series of tools and capabilities that will enable manufacturers to add Google Assistant support more easily to its devices without having to go full integration—think of a smart appliance that can be controlled using a hub device and will support specific Google Assistant commands. The result will be a ton more Assistant-supported gadgets and a rapid expansion of the Google Assistant ecosystem.

Those updates weren’t the only big announcements from Google (I count more than 10 at this point). Much the same way it’s using CES as a billboard for its brand, Google also used many of its partners do the heavy lifting, ad-wise. Companies like Samsung, KitchenAid, and Lenovo—to name a few—were outspoken about new products that either feature or offer support for Google Assistant. Also, we got confirmation that Assistant is finally coming to Sonos, following its previous delay. These partnerships, in addition to the bevy of new Assistant features and upgrades, more than justify Google’s over-the-top ad campaign at CES and point to a future where they, like its presence here in Las Vegas, are quite literally everywhere.

What do you think about all of Google’s announcement and their coming worldwide domination? Let us know, in the Comments section. See more of our CES 2019 coverage.