Stop me if you have heard this before. Google shows up to a major technology show, infiltrates a swarm of hardware, showcases a mass of uses cases, and totally whitewashes (or rather white jumpsuits) the competition.
The last time we saw Google this decked out, they were wheeling their giant gumball machine to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Despite their massive parking lot booth armed with slides, automated drinks, and a two-hour tour line, the unofficial Google booth was found in every corner, keynote, and billboard around the show floor.
And it seems Google is gearing up for another round of guerrilla warfare at IFA 2018, Europe's biggest technology show.
The move makes sense for a ton of different reasons. Firstly, Google is grabbing market share insanely fast. While Google Assistant was technically released in 2014 as part of Google Now, it only took the spotlight as a dedicated phone assistant in 2016. Amazon Alexa was released in 2014.
That means in two short years, Google has managed to not only grab a share of the now four-year-old Alexa, it is on track to dominate 48% of the dedicated global smart speaker market by 2022 peeling away nearly 15% of Amazon's market share over the next four years.
Not only that, Google has continually proved itself the superior assistant in terms of relaying the correct information from queries from its competitors in Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. That really shouldn't come as a big surprise thanks to the massive amount of data Google has access to, but you can bet they are hanging their hat on having the smartest voice assistant on the market.
But Google Assistant means nothing if it stays stuck in its own ecosystem - making the original point of Google coming to IFA so important. Google wants to show consumers that it can answer your questions, set your timers, and give you updates on the fly but it can also cook your food, send music to your soundbar, and unlock your door better than the rest. That dedication has mainly materialized as a three-fold increase in the number of devices between a January CES and their May I/O Keynote - rocketing from 1,500 to 5,000 devices.
It's worth mentioning that Amazon currently eclipses that with more than 20,000 devices running Alexa - but Google has so much more momentum behind it. And that's because Google Assistant's purpose has always felt different. There is something fundamentally different about building an assistant for your phone that can also translate to a purposeful experience whether that is on-the-go or in the home.
It's a special formula that hinders Apple's software capabilities and shuts-out Amazon's hardware portfolio. Meaning Siri currently doesn't have the same wealth of information and Alexa is still (for the most part) stuck in your home. But Google can continue to build an ecosystem that covers any situation that occurs between using your smartphone and settling in for the night - and that excites manufacturers.
If transforming a product into a 'smart product' means simply adding Google Assistant, why not do it? That simple question is seemingly being reiterated over and over as Google marches forward in their journey.