The Google Assistant's expanding its repertoire as an entertainer. At CES, Nvidia showed off the new Shield TV. Say the word and you can search for content, pause or rewind with your voice, all powered by Google's software. The Shield TV will even display information if you search the internet, and it works with SmartThings to control your home. If you buy the $200 streamer, you won't even have to be in the same room to talk to Google, thanks to a $50 add-on called the Nvidia Spot.
The Shield TV is out later this month. The Spot's release date hasn't been specified. An always listening controller with the Google Assistant built-in, the Nvidia Spot sure sounds a lot like a Google Home. The Spot looks different -- a round orb as opposed to a white cylinder. You'll also be able to easily move the Spot from room to room and even attach it to walls.
Otherwise, a lot of the functionality sounds the same as Google's own product -- you'll be able to command your TV, search the web and control your smart home via voice command. Nvidia specified SmartThings integration for Spot and Shield, but Google Assistant works with more platforms than that on Google Home -- so I wonder if Spot has a more limited version of the Assistant.
Nvidia's platform will offer more streaming options than Google's products can do on their own. With a Google Home and a Chromecast streamer plugged into your TV, you can control Netflix and YouTube with your voice. Shield's promised those platforms, plus Amazon Video, Google Play movies and Vudu.
We've been looking for Google Home to expand its functionality at CES. The Shield TV is a nice step -- if somewhat redundant. The Spot itself looks to serve the same purpose as Home, and the integration expands upon something the Google Assistant already did. Still, I'm glad to see the Google Assistant gaining new partners -- it needs to in order to keep up with Amazon at CES.