Tech brands including Lenovo, Bose and Harman are pushing into the smart speaker and display area, embedding Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants into their devices. There appears to be less interest, however, in inviting Apple's Siri to the game.
Bose just launched a $400 smart speaker and two sound bars — all with Alexa inside. Called the Home Speaker 500, the taller of the three devices has Alexa built inside. Bose said it will be adding other voice assistants, but without naming a specific date.
There are also two sound bars, the Bose Soundbar 700, priced at $799.95, and the Soundbar 500, which is priced at $549.95. Both have AirPlay 2 support is eventually coming, so you can stream from Apple products, however not until early 2019.
Harman Kardon also just debuted a new speaker called the Citation 500 — for Google Assistant, designed to compete with Amazon Echo Show. The company also a speaker called the Allure, with Amazon's Alexa inside, and the Invoke smart speaker, with Microsoft's voice assistant Cortana. Lenovo also built a voice assistant-embedded device, using Google Assistant in its Smart Display which launched in July.
Where's Siri? Well, she's certainly embedded inside the HomePod, Apple's $349 smart speaker that appeared in February. You can also access your phone's Siri from Bose's SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth speaker.
Why Google Assistant and Alexa over other smart assistants? In at least one test, Google Assistant was named the smartest of the voice assistant quintet. Research firm Loup Ventures asked Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Samsung's Bixby 800 questions in five different categories — and they ranked in that order.
New smart speakers are sure to appear at IFA Berlin, starting at the end of this month, as well as International CES, set for January 2019 in Las Vegas — which is when we expect to hear which smart assistants will get more attention, or less.