A while ago, we got confirmation from DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile division, that his company was working on a smart speaker. We now have an idea of when that smart speaker will launch. According to a report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, Samsung’s smart speaker is targeted for a release within the first half of 2018 and will cost around $200.
According to Bloomberg, the smart speaker is expected to run Bixby, Samsung’s AI assistant, and will focus on audio quality and managing connected home appliances. The smart speaker will basically be a central hub for Samsung’s SmartThings ecosystem. If you have Samsung devices in your house, they are all expected to work with the speaker. Bloomberg also reports that the device currently needs more work on voice-based web searches.
The device will reportedly be released in multiple markets, possibly including the US as well. Samsung has also previously said that it wants to put Bixby in everything it makes, including wearables, TVs, and smart refrigerators.
Many competitors have already released their own smart speakers that have their own specialized AI inside, like Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa products, and Microsoft with its new Harman Kardon Invoke. Samsung is essentially late to the game, but it’s expecting its large global footprint to help get the smart speaker, Bixby, and SmartThings ecosystem off the ground.