Alexa Now Activated on 2019 LG Smart TVs
Yesterday LG Electronics began rolling out an update in 14 countries to add Amazon Alexa support to their 2019 Smart TV models. The update to include Amazon Alexa in addition to Google Assistant was announced this year at CES. Once updated, LG customers can access Alexa skills, ask questions, and control home devices like thermostats without connecting to an external device.
The integration will happen in phases over the next few weeks and includes the company’s ThinQ AI conversational voice recognition technology to handle more complicated voice queries. LG’s head of product marketing stated the company is focused on bringing a diverse range of services. “The arrival of Alexa on our 2019 TVs delivers a new level of simplicity and convenience to the lives of our customers.”
Along with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, select LG TVs also have Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support. LG wants consumers to have the choice as to which voice assistant they use based on their needs. Reported by Tech Radar:
Whether you use Alexa, Google Assistant, or a combination of both, contextual knowledge from the LG ThinQ AI assistant will also intelligently weave the assistants together, remembering previous commands so that you can talk in a more natural way to trigger previously or regularly used commands.
The ultimate goal is for users to choose LG’s ThinQ line for all smart home products – living room, bedroom, kitchen and laundry room. LG claims the ThinQ Lifestyle can “bring freedom and ease to your life” through travel, gourmet, care and entertainment devices.
MORE CONSUMERS PURCHASED SMART TVS LAST YEAR THAN NORMAL LED TVS
LG says they want to continue to enrich the user experience with a variety of convenient AI services and features. Giving users the freedom to utilize which voice assistant(s) they prefer and feel most comfortable with has become common practice among manufacturers, an important and likely necessary offering considering the rise in smart TV popularity and competition. No one wants to alienate a potential consumer by choosing one voice assistant over the other.
Strategy Analytics reported that 157 million smart TVs were sold globally in 2018 representing 67% of total TV sales. At their CES 2019 press conferences LG, Samsung and TCL conveyed the message that the television is the new central smart home hub. Voicebot data found that 33% of smart speaker owners in the U.S. have a smart TV making them the most popular smart home device by a wide margin, followed by smart lights at 21.2%.
It comes as no surprise that Smart TVs are preferred, as they cast a much wider net of entertainment viewing options. Internet connectivity means access to streaming networks, social media, gaming and a wide range of other apps. And still the remote control isn’t going anywhere, as you still have to pick up the remote with the LG update and press a button to activate voice control.
Zion Market Research estimates that the global smart TV market will reach $293.5 billion by 2025 and that the increasing adoption of AI in smart TVs is driving the growth. Samsung and LG are among the top players.