A smart speaker powered by the Apple rival’s Bixby voice assistant is reportedly on the way
Samsung is joining the Galaxy of smart speakers
The South Korean tech giant is reportedly planning to roll out a smart speaker powered by Bixby, the Siri-like intelligent voice assistant designed for its Galaxy series of phones. According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has been developing a Bixby speaker— codenamed “Vega”— for over a year. However, the launch has been complicated by the delay of a United States English version of Bixby—which comes in male and female voice versions. The launch is now slated for later this month, the Journal reports.
Like Siri, Apple’s personal assistant, Bixby can be activated via oral commands or pushing a dedicated button. Alongside being able to answer questions about the weather and voice compose texts, Bixby also has a visual component that enables it to read QR codes, translate texts and the like. Samsung previously planned to launch a smart speaker as far back as spring 2015, but the Journal reports that the project was canned due to software issues.
If and when Bixby eventually launches, it will be entering an increasingly crowded smart home market. Apple Inc. announced earlier this summer that it would be releasing the HomePod, a $349 Siri-powered smart speaker that can be used as a hub for smartphone products, later this year. Amazon, the market leader, also recently began selling the Echo Show, a $230 Alexa-enabled smart speaker that comes with a screen and camera.
Per Juniper Research, sales for the smart home industry will hit $83 billion this year and could rise as high as $195 billion by 2021. Amazon has a dominant position, given the prevalence of its Echo line of smart speakers, but Google is in a close second place. A recent Morning Consult poll found that the Echo and Echo Dot— a cheaper and smaller smart speaker also made by Amazon— were the number one and two most popular devices among consumers.
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