Oh Great, Now Samsung's Working on an Echo Rival

By Tom Pritchard on at

Well it's definite now. Virtual Assistant-focused gadgets are the new 'in' gadget, and every company under the sun has decided they want a piece of the action. First came the Echo, then Google Home, Microsoft's Invoke, and rumours of A Siri-powered system from Apple. Now it looks like Samsung wants in, using the still-unreleased Bixby, naturally.

Patently Apple has spotted a new patent from the South Korean company, showcasing a display mounted on a slimline tripod. So it seems to be less Echo, and more Echo Show. Aside from that we don't know very much.

I suppose this sort of system makes sense. Obviously Samsung wants lots of people to be using Bixby instead of other voice assistants, and a dedicated gadget is probably the easiest way to achieve that. After all, people aren't going to drop several hundred pounds on a Galaxy S8 for a voice assistant.

Image: Patently Apple

Samsung's also been betting pretty big in the Internet of Things, and obviously will want people controlling smart home devices with something made by a competitor. Samsung already has a selection of Smart home hubs on the market, but something with Bixby-based voice controls could make life easier for everyone.

But this also begs the question of how this will affect compatability. If Samsung has a voice-controlled IoT hub, does that mean you won't be able to link Samsung's smart home products to the likes of the Amazon Echo or Google Home? We'll just have to wait and see. [Patently Apple via TechRadar]