Samsung is spilling the beans on more than just its smartwatch plans in the wake of its Galaxy Note 8 event. In an interview with CNBC, mobile division chief DJ Koh has confirmed that his company is working on a smart speaker. He's shy on details, as is usually the case with teases like this, but he hints that Samsung might announce it "soon." That doesn't necessarily mean a debut at next week's IFA show, but it's not some distant prospect. The earlier rumor didn't shed much more light on the speaker, but it's expected to revolve around the Bixby voice assistant (not that it was likely to use anything else).
Samsung is developing its own voice-activated smart speaker incorporating its Bixby virtual assistant, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. Codenamed'Vega', the AI-powered speaker will be Samsung's offering in a market already crowded by the likes of Amazon and Google, with Apple and Microsoft recently announcing their plans to get in on the action too, through HomePod and Invoke.
Samsung's Galaxy Home smart speaker will go on sale by April, president DJ Koh told CNET today. The Korean tech giant's answer to the Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod debuted in August 2018, but no pricing or release dates were provided at that time. The news was shared today at Unpacked, an event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco where Samsung introduced new devices like its flagship S10 smartphones, the Galaxy Fold that can unfurl into a 7.3-inch tablet, and Galaxy Buds with Bixby. Galaxy Home will be the first smart speaker to operate with Samsung's Bixby smart assistant. The speaker sits atop a tripod and includes spatial intelligence that ensures sound quality by taking into account the size of the room, as well as Spotify-enabled music recommendations.
Samsung has been working on its smart speakers for a while and has now announced that the smart speaker, which would be powered by Bixby, would be ready in the second half of the year 2018. Samsung has already made the Galaxy S9 official and mobile chief DJ Koh has announced that a foldable Galaxy product will eventually come. DJ Koh assured that the Galaxy X foldable phone is not a gimmicky device but Samsung wants to focus on gaining its users "complete confidence that we're delivering the best user experience when launching a new category."