There’s no question that smartphone developers believe voice-activated personal assistants are the wave of the future, but in their current state, they have failed to generate much excitement. Case in point: just 15% of iOS 7 users said they had used Siri in a survey conducted earlier this year.
According to The Telegraph, not only are improved digital assistants on the way, but both Apple and Google are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the technology to sway users to their devices. Apple’s purchase of Topsy was reportedly a major step toward more accurate search results, but Google still says it is one step ahead.
“The reason we feel pretty good in terms of competition is because what we’re seeing and everything we’re building today is built on top of the foundation of core web search rankings,” said Google engineering director Scott Huffman. “It does feel like a bit of a race. For us the race part often has a lot to do with talent, a little more than finding a start-up with a magic idea that we have to buy before anyone else. It’s more about the engineering talent in this being in a lot of demand.”
With that shot at Apple, Google is making it very clear that the Google Now engineers are building a product that will be more capable than anything else on the market. If Google can take over our living rooms and our cars with Now before other companies have a chance to strike, the battle might be over before it even begins.