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Google adds voice-activated shopping as it takes on Amazon

WASHINGTON—Google announced Thursday it was launching voice-activated shopping from its artificial intelligence-powered Home speaker, in a direct challenge to Amazon’s Alexa devices.

Users can simply tell the speaker to order items—diapers, paper towels, or trash bags, for example, and get delivery from any of dozens of participating retailers.

“If picking up paper towels or stocking up on coffee is on your list, consider it done,” said Google Assistant product manager David Wang in a statement.

This file photo taken on September 1, 2015 shows the Google logo at the Google headquarters  in Mountain View, California. Google announced that it was launching voice-activated shopping from its artificial intelligence-powered Home speaker, in a direct challenge to Amazon's Alexa devices. AFP

“To help you keep up with your busy schedule and shop for the things you need, we’re introducing shopping with your Google Assistant on Google Home.”

The service ties in with tech giant’s delivery arm Google Express, whose US retailers include Costco, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond.

Consumers can add payment information to their accounts to enable voice-activated shopping, which is a feature on Amazon’s devices powered by the digital assistant called Alexa.

Wang said: “Today is just the beginning of what’s possible for shopping with the Google Assistant. Over the coming months, we’ll continue to add new features and enable purchases for other apps and service.”

Topics: Google , voice-activated shopping , Home speaker , Amazon , Alexa devices
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