It was announced in August that Samsung was working on its version of a smart speaker. This speaker would compete with Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home which have proven to be quite successful in their own regards. These companies went on to release multiple variants of their smart speakers over the past few months. Now, it is being rumoured that Samsung might launch its smart speaker early next year.
What can be expected by Samsung’s approach?
The as-of-yet unnamed smart speaker is expected to arrive with Bixby, Samsung’s iteration of an artificial intelligence-powered digital voice assistant. Similar to the Google Home line-up or Amazon’s Echo speakers, Samsung plans to make their own eco-system of smart products. The South Korean brand has already been making smart wearables, smart TVs, and even smart refrigerators. This was no surprise after Samsung’s acquisition of SmartThings back in 2014, after which it started integrating the smart home platform into its various products.
Samsung wants to focus on audio quality with its upcoming smart speaker, and its recent acquisition of audio giant HARMAN International should help with that a lot. The company is still working on improving the voice-based web search feature. With Bixby at its forefront, the device should offer a seamless integration with Samsung smartphones. One prototype that is currently being tested shows that the size of the smart speaker would be somewhere between the size of the Apple HomePod and the latest Amazon Echo. The device does not seem to have any screens, but it does appear to have a light-up portion at the top for visual feedback. Various colour options are expected, including a matte black variant.
What about availability and pricing?
The expected release time frame of this product could be somewhere in the first half of 2018, with a possible price tag of $200. This smart speaker is expected to compete well with Apple’s HomePod, which is expected to release around the same time, with at a price of $349.