Samsung says it's building an Echo-like smart speaker

Posted August 24, 2017

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). Otherwise, it's also possible to set a wake-up command, such as "Hi Bixby".

Samsung has promised further features for its smart assistant such as Bixby Vision, which will allow users to point their phone camera at an object and get relevant information.

Samsung will expand Bixby's voice feature language availability, device support, and third-party applications going forward. Users can ask Bixby to carry out tasks such as searching through a photo album, or send a picture that has just been taken to a contact.

In addition to offering quick commands, Bixby can also be personalized to support custom voice commands and shortcuts for multiple functions at once, according to Samsung. He's shy on details, as is usually the case with teases like this, but he hints that Samsung might announce it "soon".

Samsung also reportedly expressed concerns over its ability to make a dent in the home speaker market, thanks to this late start and strong products from other competitors. The forthcoming Samsung smart speaker will compete with the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod.

"The expansion of Bixby's voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality", said Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Software and Services of the Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.