YOU CAN add Samsung to the growing list of tech giants making smart speakers with built-in voice assistants that do your bidding.
We’ve already got Amazon’s Echo range of devices, Google’s Home line-up, and Apple’s HomePod with Siri under the hood – not to mention a rumoured gadget from Facebook.
The Sun Samsung’s Echo rival could land in just a few weeks
And with smart speaker use expected to hit 100million by the end of the year, up from 50million in 2017, Samsung unsurprisingly wants a slice of that pie.
The Korean firm’s audio gadget is code-named “Lux” and boasts “a bowl-shaped design with a legged-bottom and lights at the top, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
There’s just one huge problem: it’s expected to cost $300 (£229) when it lands in the next month or so.
That plops it squarely between the more affordable £90 Echo and £129 Home and the costly £319 Apple HomePod.
But seeing as Amazon and Google are bossing the smart speaker market, you’d think it would’ve opted with a more competitive price.
Like Apple, Samsung is targeting audiophiles with its new product: WSJ says the smart speaker will be “marketed as a high-end music player, boasting features like sound shifting, in which the speaker’s audio can be beamed in the direction of a person providing verbal commands”.
Apple Samsung is going for high-end audio quality on its Bixby smart speaker like the Apple HomePod before it
In terms of the “smarts”, Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant will provide the brains that power the gizmo.
As with Alexa and Google Assistant, you utter a simple voice command to wake the helper, in this case “Hi Bixby”.
The only hitch is that in its current incarnation the firm’s AI is simply not as intelligent as its counterparts.
Since its debut on the Galaxy S8 last year, Bixby has been limited to object recognition and smartphone tasks (like editing photos, sending messages, composing emails and setting reminders).
Unlike its rivals, it can’t order you pizza, an Uber, or shopping– not yet, anyway.
But Samsung’s focus on high-quality audio almost certainly means the assistant will tout music streaming controls – so you’ll be able to tell it to play Spotify on the speaker, for example.