Samsung confirms smart speaker plans, as Galaxy Note 8 unveiled

Tyrone Stewart

Samsung Galaxy Note 8Samsung confirmed that it will be launching a smart speaker to challenge the likes of Amazon, Google and Apple, as it revealed the release date for the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.

Speaking to CNBC in an interview ahead of the smartphone’s launch, Samsung’s mobile division president DJ Koh said a smart speaker was on the way.

“Maybe soon we will announce it. I am already working on it,” he said. “As I mentioned, I wanted to provide a fruitful user experience at home with Samsung devices, and I want to be moving quite heavily on it.”

Of course, the idea is for the smart speaker to have Bixby, the company’s AI personal assistant, at the centre of the device – much like how Amazon’s Echo has Alexa, Google’s Home has Assistant, and Apple’s HomePod will have Siri when released in December – but it is not clear if this will be the case just yet.

Last month, it was reported that Samsung was developing a smart speaker powered by Bixby with the codename of ‘Vega’, however, progress was slow due to the delayed roll out of the US English language version of Bixby. But, earlier this week, Samsung began rolling out Bixby to S8 and S8+ owners in more than 200 countries around territories around the world.

Elsewhere in Samsung land, it was announced that the Galaxy Note 8 will arrive mid-September in midnight black, orchid grey, maple gold and deepsea blue. The latest Note, the first since the flaming disaster that was the Note 7, comes with a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display, two 12-megapixel rear cameras, an eight-megapixel front camera, 6GB RAM, a 10nm processor and expandable memory up to 256GB. It is also water and dust resistant, has fast wireless charging, and both iris and fingerprint scanning.