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Samsung Developing the Bixby Smart Speaker to Go Up Against Amazon’s Echo


The numbers don’t lie. The smart speakers market has been rapidly growing through the years. The latest estimates show that that speakers use could hit 100 million by the end of 2018. This figure represents a significant hike from 2017’s 50 million. Considering the difference, it makes absolute sense for Samsung to be interested in pursuing the smart speaker venture.

Samsung’s concept is labelled “Lux” and has an impressive bowl-shape concept with lights at the apex

From a design perspective, everything is okay. However, the massive £229 price tag means that Samsung’s concept is second fiddle to Apple in terms of expensiveness. Apple’s HomePod retails at  £319, Echo is priced at £90 while Google’s Home sells at £129. Given the fact that Amazon and Google have been bossing the smart speaker market, it’s quite surprising that Samsung didn’t seek to offer a competitive rate.

The Wall Street Journal highlighted that more than anything, Samsung was looking to tap into the audiophile market. According to Samsung, their product has incredible features like sound-shifting which allows audio sounds to be target towards specific directions. Usually from an individual issuing commands. The Bixby AI is going to be the brains behind the smart speaker. This concept is not too dissimilar to Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant which are activated by simple voice commands. Since AI involves a lot of machine learning, Bixby is at a disadvantage since it’s not as intelligent as the rest.

Ever since the Bixby AI debuted last year, it has not been as robust as many expected. The AI is limited to simple things like object recognition and performing a couple of mundane smartphone operations like email and message composition, reminders and photo editing. The other systems from Amazon and Google support complex operations like shopping, Uber acquisition and pizza ordering.

Focus

Samsung’s decision to play to the audio market is sure to see them reap the rewards. Many analysts expect their digital assistant to support streaming controls like Spotify through the speakers

After a while, the digital assistant is expected to be compatible with a number of smart home appliances like mobile phones, light bulbs, locks and cameras. There’s a great chance that the new features will be incorporated in the new Galaxy Note 9 and the Galaxy Watch as Bixby 2.0 unravels.

While these two devices are set to launch in August, it remains unclear whether the smart speaker will be launched together with them. Industry analysts expect the launch to follow shortly after.

The Korea Herald announced that Bixy Voice was delayed due to issues encountered in streamlining the technology to work well in English. In the South Korean market, Bixby Voice controls are available. The issues reported include the fact that Samsung had encountered difficulty teaching Bixby about English syntax and grammar applications. The publication also highlighted that Samsung could further delay the launch as it prepares to stack big data and concentrate on deep learning capabilities. To wrap things up, the Korea Herald mentioned that geographical hindrances between the Korean HQs and U.S.-based researchers had complicated matters.

Launch

DJ Koh, Samsung’s president of the mobile division, was recently heard saying that they were going to drop the smart speakers in the near future. Koh mentioned that they were hard at work on the devices and would announce once everything was all set. He categorically stated that the delay was a result of the dedication they’ve put in perfecting Samsung devices to work seamlessly across the board.

In other news, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 conversation on social media platforms has been growing. There have been a couple of leaked images showing the how the latest phone is set to look like. Analysts believe that the new arrival is likely to look no different from the Galaxy Note 8. They however expect a couple of updates in the internal specs. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB RAM, enhanced battery capacity and camera functionalities are some of the features expected to be improved.

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