DJ Koh, the president of Samsung’s mobile division, told CNBC on Wednesday that the company is working on a smart speaker. He told the news network that “I am already working on it” and the company will soon announce it. CNBC was interviewing Koh ahead of the Note 8 smartphone launch.
The WSJ reported in July that Samsung was developing a voice-activated speaker powered by its digital assistant Bixby. The report, which cited unnamed sources, said timing for a product launch was “far from determined” and noted that an English language version of Bixby had been delayed.
However, Bixby, which was unveiled earlier this year by Samsung, is now available in more than 200 countries and recognizes U.S. English and Korean. It’s available on the Galaxy S8 smartphone.
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While the hardware—the actual speaker—is important, it’s the AI-based tech and its potential ability to connect and communicate with other smart devices in the home, that has Amazon, Apple, and Google so dedicated to the space.
The foundation of Samsung’s speaker—like its rivals—will be the software, namely the Bixby, the digital assistant that users communicate with. Google Home has Google Assistant, Amazon Echo has Alexa, and Apple Homepod has Siri.