A cyclist is using a Google Assistant-controlled electric bike wheel to ride cross country to CES

TechCrunch | 12/29/2017 | Brian Heater
marisha (Posted by) Level 3
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There are bad ways to get to CES, and then there’s this — a 10-day, cross-country bike ride. It’s a week and change of 17-hour days spent peddling through zero-degree temperatures across the Midwest. ****, it’s early January — even Las Vegas is near freezing this time of year.

This is one way to put your new electric bicycle wheel through its paces ahead of launch. But more importantly, it’s a pretty solid publicity stunt, funded by Google — a company that likes making a grand entrance. It’s all part of what’s shaping up to be a pretty big push for Google Assistant at the year’s biggest consumer electronics show.

Electron - Gen - Wheel - Months - Pre-sale

Electron’s Gen 2 Wheel was actually announced a few months, and is currently up for pre-sale from the company’s site for $799 (with Best Buy availability arriving at some point in the future). The whole Google Assistant bit, however, is new for CES, and will only be available in beta when the wheel starts shipping in February.

Google clearly wasn’t content with Assistant just being on phones and smart speakers, so it approached Electron as a potential partner. It’s arguably one of the most interesting implementations of the smart assistant to date, and actually makes more sense than the initial novelty of the whole thing suggests.

Google - Assistant - User - Experience - Technology

“As we have worked with Google to integrate Assistant, it’s really made us excited about how to make the user experience as simple as possible and how voice technology can be integrated while riding,” Electron VP James Parker told TechCrunch. “There’s all of this nice command technology in cars. We think there’s so much opportunity to use that technology while...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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