Samsung has revealed that it is working on a smart speaker which will be launched soon. This was made known by DJ Koh, president of Samsung's mobile division in an interview with CNBC ahead of the Galaxy Note 8 launch which was held on Wednesday. The smart speaker is expected to take on the already existing smart speakers; such as ones by Amazon, Apple, and Google.
Smart speakers with AI capabilities are turning out to be a popular product among OEMs, perhaps driven by market forces. Amazon has got the Echo smart speaker which quickly had the Google Home as a rival and recently, Apple launched the HomePod in order to grab a slice of the young but rapidly growing market. The speakers usually function as wireless speakers and smart device that connects via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other standards, with usage extending beyond audio playback. It brings features such as functioning as intelligent personal assistants, and others. Some usually come with their own designated interface or can be launched or controlled via app or home automation software.
Samsung has got a huge ambition in the smart home ecosystem with a drive to connect all its smart home gadgets from the Family Hub refrigerator to its smart TVs and the company appears to be moving rapidly towards adding the Smart speaker to its growing lineup of smart home gadgets. The company unveiled the Bixby digital personal assistant with the Galaxy S8 and also it featured on the recently launched Galaxy Note 8. Both smartphone models come with a function dubbed Bixby Home which allows owners to connect their smart devices to the smartphone to be controlled via Bixby.
The Samsung president did not give any insight regarding what the smart speaker product will look like or whether it would feature the Bixby AI but we wouldn't expect anything less than an Artificial Intelligence wielding smart speaker considering the standards set by Amazon and the others. That is a smart speaker which can be connected to lights, TVs, or even thermostats and would then allow the control of these home appliances via voice prompt.
Just last month, the Wall Street Journal featured a story where it cited sources to have hinted that Samsung was developing a smart speaker powered by Bixby with the codename "Vega". The report, however, suggested the speaker's development had been held back by slow roll-out of the U.S. English language version of Bixby but since Bixby has successfully launched in U.S. English, it then means the smart speaker could feature Bixby and its launch may be close by. Koh did not disclose a launch timeline but the speaker could be among Samsung products that would be unveiled at IFA Berlin 2017.