Amazon started the smart speaker race with the Echo. It later released the Echo Dot and Tap. All three are powered by Amazon’s smart Assistant, Alexa. Google joined the smart speaker race with the Home last year and Apple announced the Siri-powered HomePod this week. A report by the Korea Herald says Samsung is working on its own speaker that will be powered by Bixby.
Bixby is Samsung’s AI assistant that debuted on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ this year. It even has a dedicated button on both phones. Bixby is still not available globally. It is still limited to Samsung’s home country and won’t make it to the US until later due to some issues.
The news of a Bixby speaker isn’t surprising. Samsung and Apple are rivals and just minutes after the HomePod launched, tweets were already flying round about Samsung doing the same.
Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing says the HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music just like the iPod did. While there have been jokes made about the design, it remains to be seen if the HomePod lives up to expectation in terms of performance when it goes on sale in December.
Samsung is no slouch either, we presume the speaker will also pack some impressive audio power when it launches. If you remember, it acquired audio giant Harman this year for a record $8B. Harman is the parent company of AKG, Harman Kardon, JBL, and Infinity to name a few.
The Korea Herald says Samsung has already been granted design patents for a standalone audio device. Now all we await is a launch date.
Microsoft is also working with Harman Kardon to release its own voice powered speaker called Invoke. Invoke will play music, answer questions and handle tasks like reminders thanks to Microsoft’s AI assistant, Cortana. It is expected to launch in Q3 2017.