The market for voice assistant-powered smart speakers has exploded over the past year as Amazon has seen runaway success with its Echo series of devices. Amazon’s Echo speakers are powered by the company’s Alexa voice assistant. Apart from controlling smart home devices and streaming music, the assistant has over 15,000 skills that it can perform in response to voice commands.
Microsoft chucked its hat in the ring as well by teaming up with Harman Kardon, which happens to be a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, on the Invoke. It’s a smart speaker that leverages Harman Kardon’s high-end sound technology and couples that with Microsoft’s artificial intelligence platform Cortana.
Even Apple jumped on the bandwagon earlier this week when it unveiled the HomePod. It’s a new smart speaker that the company will ship in December. It also focuses on providing a premium sound quality alongside all of the features that its voice assistant Siri offers.
Samsung introduced its own voice assistant called Bixby with the Galaxy S8. The company has made no secret of the fact that it will expand Bixby to other devices, including home appliances. The company already has a patent for a device that appears to be a smart speaker and now a report out of South Korea suggests that the company is preparing such a product.
It remains to be seen how long it will take Samsung to come out with its own smart speaker. The company hasn’t been able to launch Bixby with English language support as yet so that’s something it needs to accomplish first.