Samsung Electronics is creating a speaker that will feature the capabilities of Bixby, a voice assistant software that the company is actively developing. Bixby was announced alongside the Galaxy S8 smartphone and was billed as a major feature of the device. Since the launch of the Galaxy S8, Samsung has yet to offer Bixby outside of its home country of South Korea. The company previously said that the English version of Bixby would launch by spring, but the launch has been postponed as Samsung has begun an “Early Access” testing program with select users.
In creating a Bixby-powered voice assistant speaker, Samsung is squaring itself against major competitors. Amazon’s Echo line occupies more than 70% of the US market for voice-activated speakers, with new additions to the line frequently added. Alphabet has also made inroads with Google Home, which has a features list that grows constantly as the search giant expands its capabilities. Microsoft and Apple both have plans for upcoming voice-activated speakers, creating a tough market for Samsung to break into.
Samsung has no time frame for launching the speaker. Before it can delve into new hardware, the company must first finish the software. Samsung’s ambitions for Bixby are intriguing, but the company has a great deal of ground to cover before it can compete with existing voice assistants.