Samsung has decided to go ahead with its plans of launching a smart speaker which will be powered by Bixby. Focusing on sound quality and integration with other home devices, the Korean company intends to launch the smart speaker in the first half of 2018.
The smart speaker will also communicate and synchronise with TVs and other Galaxy devices from Samsung. It will also act as a hub for SmartThings, Samsung’s own home integration ecosystem.
The device by the South Korean technology giant will have a strong focus on audio quality and the management of connected home appliances such as lights and locks, said the people, who asked not to be identified talking about private plans.
While the final price of the speaker has not yet been finalised, Samsung is mulling a price tag of $200 and launch the speaker in multiple markets, including the United States. The project is being spearheaded by Patrick Chomet who joined Samsung last year itself.
As per one of Bloomberg’s sources, one of the prototype versions being tested by Samsung is between the size of the HomePod and Amazon’s Echo speaker. The company is also considering launching the speaker in different colors so that it better fits into your living room. Like the HomePod, Samsung’s smart speaker will lack any kind of touchscreen and would be solely controlled via voice with only LED lights at the top providing some kind of visual feedback.
While Samsung will be following in the footsteps of Amazon, Google and Apple with its smart speaker, the company’s digital assistant is simply not good enough to occupy space in one’s living room. Bixby still has support for a limited number of languages and its voice recognition capabilities are not as good as that of Google or Amazon. Samsung will have to make tremendous improvements to Bixby in a short time to ensure its as good as Amazon Echo or Google Home.