Everyone and their dog is trying to muscle in on the smart speaker game these days. Amazon pioneered the gadgets, but Google, Apple, and Microsoft all want in. The only company to seemingly put an end to such plans was Samsung, but it's now gone and backtracked by confirming there's still a Bixby-powered speaker in the works.
We first heard about Samsung's plans for a Bixby smart speaker back in May, but last month reports emerged claiming Samsung was giving up on account of it being unable to beat Amazon at its own game. Those reports seem to be wrong, because yesterday Samsung mobile division president DJ Koh admitted Samsung is still working on the device and might announce it "soon".
Koh didn't give any clues on how soon "soon" actually is, but you probably shouldn't expect it to be announced at IFA next week. Everyone knows those types of conferences are for fridges and washing machines that have lots of unnecessary features.
Koh never mentioned Bixby by name, but given how much Samsung has invested in its virtual assistant, it would be daft to build a smart speaker that didn't have it. Green as it might be compared to the other VAs out there, there's no indication Samsung is giving up on it - especially after yesterday's Note 8 announcement.
While the reports that Samsung was giving up certainly weren't surprising, neither is this news that plans are moving ahead. The company has invested a lot in Internet of Things technology over the past couple of years, and a smart speaker is the next logical step in ensuring people can control their Samsung-made smart home tech in a more natural way. After all, why let Amazon do it when Samsung can offer that itself? [CNBC via Slashgear]