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LG home speaker with Google Assistant launches next month

LG beats rival Samsung to announce its first smart home speaker, which will launch at CES.

The Amazon Echo and Google Home may have the lead in smart home speakers, but that isn't stopping LG from beating Samsung to the punch over announcing a smart speaker of its own.


LG's first smart home speaker will run on Google Assistant.


On Thursday, LG said it will launch a smart home speaker powered by Google Assistant -- called the LG ThinQ Speaker -- at the annual CES show for all things tech in Las Vegas in January. 

Fellow South Korean rival Samsung is also widely expected to unveil its own smart home speaker running on Samsung-made Bixby Voice. The Galaxy Note 8 phone was the first device to support Bixby Voice, which works on the phone alongside Google Assistant, followed by the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus handsets.

The rollout stalled in the US, leaving many buyers skeptical about Samsung's ability to create compelling software to rival Amazon's Alexa sidekick, Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and Google Assistant. 

But despite the slow start and mixed reviews, Samsung always envisioned Bixby Voice as the linchpin for a whole-home ecosystem that would challenge those other assistants and tie into Samsung devices and appliances, from TVs to washing machines to refrigerators. Samsung announced Bixby 2.0 in October.

Although Samsung could also introduce its speaker at CES -- Samsung Mobile chief DJ Koh already teased it in August -- this first look at LG's plans could spark interest in LG, and in Google Assistant, which is already proven, versus Samsung's nascent Bixby software.

Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

LG's voice-assisted ThinQ Speaker will presumably be able to access all of Google Assistant's abilities and database, and recognize different users' voices. In addition, you'll be able to control LG smart home appliances through your voice. "OK, Google, talk to LG, turn on the air purifier," LG used as an example in its press announcement

LG also emphasized that the speaker would support high-resolution audio and lossless files. 

CES runs from Jan. 8-12.

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