A few months have slipped since Samsung announced the S8/+. Part of the that announcement surprised no one with new additions, including the widely-leaked Microsoft Display Dock rival in the name if DeX, as well as Bixby. Bixby does what Google Now does – although it is yet to pick Google Assistant’s capabilities amid multiple delays.
I knew the South Korean tech giant was serious about Bixby when it decided to incorporate a dedicated hardware key on the S8/+ to launch Bixby – so serious that Samsung made it challenging for users to remap the key to perform other functions.
It turns out that Samsung may be capitalizing on Bixby because it is developing a voice-activated speaker that will be powered by, you named it right, Bixby. Assuming the rumours are legitimate, Samsung will be join companies such as Amazon (Amazon Echo), Apple (HomePod) and Google (Google Home) that have outed similar solutions named in parentheses. This is niche market that Samsung wants a piece of because smart speakers are receiving commendable adoption for homes with connectivity solutions, offices or even vehicles.
There is a reason why prominent internet companies and manufactures have dedicated research teams to develop and enhance the functionalities of voice-activated, internet-connected speakers – it is for artificial intelligence (AI). For a better execution, companies are focusing on big data to improve virtual assistants. For example, Apple’s Siri’s functionality has drastically improved than when it was introduced on the iPhone 4S back in 2011; it is not about sending reminders or alarms anymore owing to the fact that improvements have elevated what Siri can do such as control smart appliances and so forth.
Amazon Echo is the most popular of such smart speakers and is powered by the company’s digital assistant, Alexa. Google Home comes in second. Even Microsoft has a smart speaker called Invoke that uses Cortana. Amazon’s Chinese rival AKA Alibaba is also planning to introduce its solution that will be limited to China.
We will sit back and see if these rumours will pan out.