Alexa, get ready for some stiff competition.
Today Samsung announced its first smart speaker with the Bixby virtual voice assistant, the Galaxy Home The announcement was made at the company’s Unpacked event in Brooklyn, New York, alongside the Galaxy Note 9 phone.
The Galaxy Home has full-range speakers, onboard subwoofer, ‘sound steering’ and audio tuning by AKG. It also has eight far-field microphones for use with the assistant. And the strange, three-legged, cauldron-like design is sure to set it apart from the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod devices of the world.
Details on the device are scant, and Samsung did not announce pricing or availability. It promised more details at its developers’ conference in November.
Bixby, a talking robot voice similar to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, debuted on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets last year, and has since appeared in the company’s smart refrigerators and smart TVs. Now it’s available in a standalone smart speaker, just like its rivals.
The speaker is up against some stiff competition: For example, there are dozens of speakers that feature Amazon’s Alexa, including the popular Echo series, while Google Assistant speakers including the Google Home come in second place. Plus, there’s the Apple HomePod featuring Siri. All three systems have evolved over a number of years and Bixby has a lot of catching up to do.