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May 19, 2016

Google Home to take on Amazon Echo, Google Assistant to take on Apple’s Siri – Let the AI battle begin

News: This virtual assistant is said to compete with Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Echo.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has unveiled a conversation based Google Assistant at the annual Google I/O developer conference at Mountain View, California.

According to Google, with this service, a consumer can have a two-way conversation with the assistant in order to find information, play music and videos and daily things like buying movie tickets online and finding a good restaurant.

Richard Windsor, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said: "this is effectively an update to Google Now but with some key differences. First – Google Assistant will be everywhere across all devices and services and will be the lynch pin that keeps the experience consistent no matter where the user is or what he is doing. Second – it will be backed up by Google’s best in class AI which promises to offer a far more intuitive, contextual and useful experience than the competition."

The search major has introduced Google Home, a device with a built-in speaker which is voice-activated. This device will deliver Google Assistant technology right into the living room.

With Google Home, a consumer can enjoy entertainment, manage daily activities and get answers from Google through conversation. It can be used for finding and playing songs, setting the timer on the oven, turning on lights and even checking flights.

Ed Fowler, Vice President; Head of digital transformation for EMEA and APAC at VirtusaPolaris said: "By launching Home, Google are looking to compete with Amazon Echo in that they are both changing the way we interact with the internet. Previously, everything was on websites which we had to visit and view. Now, voice activation is going to become a much greater part of our online experience.

"By building assets that mimic how people interact at home and at work, such as voice activation, our devices can become a central nervous system helping us to make sense of our world. It is far more natural for us to ask a question out loud than to go online and browse the Google rankings so companies are responding by moving us beyond the visual."

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For Android mobile phone users, Google has unveiled Allo and Duo. Allo is a new messaging app which is also powered by Google Assistant. It will take voice commands and will let the users chat directly with the contacts in their contact list.

It can also help the user with daily agenda and can also pick up photos from the last trip and give suggestions about restaurants or places to hang out with friends.

Google says that Allo can also suggest users about replies based on the context of the message and can suggest some funny responses including emojis and stickers and can make the user more expressive.

There is also an incognito mode which will provide end-to-end encryption for chats, messages and discreet notifications.

Duo, which is a companion app, will let users have easy and simple video calling. According to Google, the Duo app is equipped with features that make video calling smooth even with slower network speeds.

Duo has a new feature called Knock Knock which gives a live video about the other caller before taking the actual call.

Google said that the two apps Allo and Duo will be based on phone numbers and hence can be used on both Android and iOS devices and they would be released this summer.

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