Sony's new smart speaker has Google Assistant, looks like Apple's Homepod

Saturday, 02 Sep, 2017

Yesterday, Google announced at IFA in Berlin that its Assistant will soon expand to more third-party speakers. Obviously having Google Assistant baked in means it benefits from all the smart integration features Google Home would offer. And that's more due to the Japanese OEM's expertise in building top notch audio equipment. The LF-S50G will go on sale in October, two months before Apple's HomePod speaker arrives with Siri. With trusted audio brands going to the effort and expense of developing better speakers with superior sound quality, all they need do is concentrate on improving the AI assistants (which very much needs to happen) and licensing this technology out. You'll be able to get it in either black or gray.

It also features an LED screen to display the time.

Meanwhile, consumer electronics giant Samsung is expected to introduce its own voice-enabled smart speaker this fall. Instead, the company made a decision to pack in the Google Assistant with its LF-S50G.

Google Assistant is one of the most powerful AI voice applications in the world, with the ability to tap into the company's impressive machine learning and search abilities.

A smart speaker equipped with artificial intelligence has speech-recognition capabilities and can be controlled using spoken commands to perform such tasks as playing music, operating other appliances and searching the internet. The LF-S50G is capable of responding to a multitude of voice queries your throw at it. Sony hasn't released detailed specs for the new speaker, so we don't know how big its amplifier is, but a spokesperson said it can comfortably fill an average-sized room with sound (defining "average" as a 25×16-foot living room or kitchen). The speakers include a full range speaker, a dedicated subwoofer, a "damped bass reflex duct" and an omnidirectional two stage diffuser. However, it's not something you should go swimming with. Users can also pair their phone to Sony's device via NFC or Bluetooth connectivity.

Sony's smart speaker will go on sale in the USA in October and will set you back $200. The main drawback of this speaker is the fact that it's only compatible with Lenovo's family focusing Tab 4 tablets.

Harman Kardon adds to its Invoke speaker that has Microsoft's Cortana assistant with speakers packing either Alexa or Google Assistant, so consumers can choose which AI they prefer.