Oh, technology expos. Companies tease us and tease us ahead of their big announcements at places like the Consumer Electronics Show but rarely do they shock us because we’re often meant to know the information in advance. That’s looking to be the case with LG’s new Google Assistant-powered smart speaker that is more than likely to launch at the IFA 2019 show in Berlin that launches on Friday, September 6.
We know that Amazon and Google are in a big fight to control the smart home space. It appears that LG is still trying to play nice with the two tech giants since LG has slowly been adding Alexa-enabled phones to its lineup and recently learned that LG filed a bunch of patents with the Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) for more than one smart speaker, all of which use Google Assistant.
So, don’t be surprised if LG drops a smart speaker to rival Alexa in Berlin at the end of the week. The most dynamic patent is labeled “Model A,” and seems to be modeled after the GL ThinQ WK 7, with a more angular design, four control buttons because everyone seems to be going to simple analog controls these days, and a power button. Everyone is trying to parse the very limited blueprints that LG gave to the Koreans but it looks like a display might be involved as well.
In addition to first speaker, LG also put up three more speakers with smart displays — think the Google Home Hub or the Amazon Echo Show. The secondary model (“Model B” in the patent filings) might have a bigger focus on audio, with a big old speaker grill layered under its visual display. In contrast, the remaining models look to be a lot thinner and more focused on the display than audio. Maybe that’s smart home control, maybe it’s visual communication, maybe it’s something we don’t know about yet. LG (and everyone else) is kind of tricky that way but we’ll keep an eye on the announcement and keep you posted.
Most industry analysts are expecting to see LG launch a dual-screen smart display, the LG V60 ThinQ, the next generation of the company’s flagship smartphone and a serious first volley in the competition between smartphone developers who are fighting over innovations like foldable phones, dual screens, 5G, and A.I.
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