Samsung has announced the much awaited Bixby-powered smart speaker during the launch event of the Galaxy Note 9 in Brooklyn, New York.
The Galaxy Home has full-range speakers, onboard subwoofer, “sound steering” and audio tuning by AKG. It also has eight far-field microphones for use with the assistant. And the strange, three-legged, cauldron-like design is sure to set it apart from the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod devices of the world.
Bixby, a talking robot voice similar to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, debuted on Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets last year, and has since appeared in the company’s smart refrigerators and smart TVs. Now it’s available in a standalone smart speaker, just like its rivals.
The Galaxy Home will relay support for Samsung’s smart home ecosystem, meaning the speaker will be able to control your smart home appliances through voice commands. Users will be able to trigger Samsung’s assistance by saying “Hi Bixby” and ask it to play your favourite music and other tasks. There are a few physical buttons on the Galaxy Home to let you control the device when near it.
The speaker will also use eight microphones to register questions from users to its voice assistant Bixby, which the company said had recently received an update to understand more “conversational” queries.
Samsung will face stiff competition in the smart speaker market. A recent Canalys report found Google and Amazon dominate more than 60 per cent of smart speaker sales worldwide, followed by speakers from lesser known Chinese firms Alibaba and Xiaomi.
The Galaxy Home would be launched in Australia, but “Pricing and availability will be announced during the Samsung Developer Conference in November closer to the launch date in Australia” the company said in a statement.