Wired Tech News: Virtual assistants are the next big thing, and Google has the big one to play with.
A new report from Bloomberg shows the company has a $1.5 billion virtual assistants fund to pay for.
Google is spending more than $15.6 billion in cash to buy virtual assistants from the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and others.
The company has been acquiring the virtual assistants for as long as Google has been building out its self-driving car project, which is still far from a commercial product.
Bloomberg’s report says the funds are being used to acquire 10 companies and help the company develop its own virtual assistant.
These companies will compete for customers, and Bloomberg says the companies include: Apple (a subsidiary of Apple) Amazon (another subsidiary of Amazon) Microsoft (another company with its own self-drive project) Amazon Studios, a television and film production studio based in New York.
Bloomberg reported that Google is working with Google on a self-flying car, which Google said it hopes will eventually be able to travel from its offices in Mountain View, California, to San Francisco in just under an hour.
This is not the first time Google has invested in the virtual assistant business.
Google has long had a large and diverse business in the area, with a variety of different services and services designed to help customers do things like pay bills, check email, shop for products, make payments, etc. Google’s acquisition of Apple’s Siri and the launch of Google Home in March was the first step in that direction.
The report says that Google will focus its virtual assistant research and development efforts on creating its own voice assistant that can compete with the likes that Apple has created.