Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant gained new third-party integrations this week with Sony and Ecobee respectively. Sony announced yesterday that a limited number of its TV models will now support voice control through Alexa giving users the ability to control the TV power, volume, switch inputs, change channels and play or stop along with other controls. The new feature will work with select models of Sony’s Android TVs which become available via a firmware update available this month.
While Alexa gained Sony, Google Assistant added another smart home device with Ecobee’s line of smart thermostats. Ecobee owners can control their home’s temperature with voice commands through the Google Assistant either on their smart phone or through any Google Home device. The ecobee4, ecobee3 lite and ecobee3 will all have Google Assistant support.
Third-Party Devices Are Playing the Voice Assistant Field
It is interesting to note that previously, both Sony and Ecobee already had voice control capabilities through the other voice assistant. Certain Sony Android TVs already have Google Assistant built right in, in addition to Chromecast while Ecobee thermostats already support Alexa while its Ecobee4 model has Amazon’s voice assistant built right in. Sony and Ecobee are just a few of the dozens of smart home manufacturers who are choosing to not make a choice between Alexa and Google Assistant. I believe this is a trend that will continue as third-party manufacturers want to offer voice control capabilities to the widest audience possible which means playing nice with both Amazon and Google. And with the voice assistant wars just beginning, they don’t want to bet on the wrong horse.