It seems the South Korean tech giant Samsung is getting ready to join the likes of Google and Amazon by launching its own smart speaker in the market. According to a report in the Bloomberg, the company is planning to introduce a Bixby-powered smart speaker in the first half of 2018.
Samsung’s upcoming smart speaker will reportedly focus on audio-capabilities and smart home devices management, similar to what the most premium smart speakers offer these days. It will use the company’s own voice-assistant Bixby, which is currently offered as a part of select Galaxy smartphones. Although Bixby is a direct competitor to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it hasn’t got the best reviews and is probably the worst of the bunch.
Bloomberg also notes that Samsung’s smart speaker will synchronize with Samsung’s other devices like phones and TVs as well as work with the company’s SmartThings platform.
A prototype of the smart speaker in testing by the company is said to be between the size of Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod. It sports matte black colour, however the company may offer the final product in multiple colour options. The prototype doesn’t feature any kind of a screen, but there are lights on the top for visual feedback. No other specifics are known at this point.
The smart speaker may be released in multiple markets around the world with a price-tag around $200, but these plans are fluid at the moment and may change.
Samsung’s plans to release a smart speaker haven’t been a complete surprise. The company executive DJ Koh has revealed in August this year that Samsung is working on a smart speaker without giving out any details.
I hope to hear more about Samsung’s smart speaker plans at the company event in Mobile World Congress next year.