Google Assistant's Interpreter Mode turns your speaker into a translator: CES 2019

Angelica Greene
January 11, 2019

As of Tuesday, the Google Assistant started rolling out in Google Maps for Android and iOS to help users navigate.

Assistant Connect is Google's answer to Amazon's Alexa Connect Kit, a hardware module that simplifies the process of building devices that feature the popular Alexa virtual assistant.

Interestingly, the company also said that "earlier speaker models" will be updated to "work" with the Assistant, so owners of, say, the Play:1, Play:5, Playbase or Playbar could be in luck. At CES 2019, Google is making every Home and Smart Display into a translation device with the introduction of Interpreter Mode. At CES it announced support for more smart home devices later this year, included appliances, security systems and other connected devices.

Google Assistant Connect will allow Google to put its Assistant on the next generation of smart home devices.

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Update: corrected the time frame for the release of the Google Assistant upgrade. Google Assistant will soon let you do checks-in to your flight, save and retrieve your boarding pass.

At the CES 2019, Google announced some exciting new features for its Assistant, including the Interpreter Mode, wherein users will be able to easily have conversations translated in real-time. All you need to do is just say, "Hey Google, check in to my flight". The Assistant will provide real-time spoken translations, and written ones as well on smart displays.

If you know which hotel you want to stay, you can book a room using the Google Assistant with partners like Choice Hotels, AccorHotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Priceline, Expedia, Mirai and Travelclick - an Amadeus company. Amazon, the current market leader in smart speakers, will see its share of the market drop to 63% this year from 67% in 2018 as the e-commerce giant faces more competition from Google and other companies, researcher eMarketer forecast.

It's no secret Google has the smartest and most powerful voice assistant out there. Guided by a quirky narrator, the ride takes you through a day in the life of "Bob" as he uses the Google Assistant along the way. Most products incorporating voice control "also run Alexa, and, given Alexa's penetration, it will be the dominant assistant on them for the foreseeable future".

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