Samsung's DJ Koh Confirms, a Smart Speaker is Coming

A man accused of beating his girlfriend and threatening to kill her was jailed after an Amazon Echo a voice-activated speaker device called 911 authorities said

Users with Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus phones can activate the AI by holding the dedicated Bixby buttons on their devices or simply saying, "Hi, Bixby".

Samsung is working on a smart speaker that will be launched "soon", the company's mobile chief told CNBC, which will pit it against the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google, in the hotly-contested space. The new details confirmed by Samsung come in line with a previous report that claimed the company is working on a smart speaker, but the progress had been held back by the company's inability to roll-out the US English language version of Bixby in more countries. Koh said Samsung wants to create a "fruitful user experience at home with Samsung devices, and [he] want [s] to be moving quite heavily on it". Earlier this summer, speculation emerged that the speaker was being worked on - the Wall Street Journal reported that the speaker had a codename of "Vega" - but it was uncertain if it would reach consumers.

In addition to offering quick commands, Bixby can also be personalized to support custom voice commands and shortcuts for multiple functions at once, according to Samsung. Otherwise, it's also possible to set a wake-up command, such as "Hi Bixby".

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Samsung appears to be preparing to join the voice-assisted speakers market.

The functionality has been rolled out to 200 countries today including the UK, Canada and South Africa and is available in English (US) and Korean. However, this is the first time when Samsung has outrightly confirmed the existence of such device and also confirmed its arrival. Bixby's Spotify support will presumably also be available on other Galaxy-branded devices that are set to receive the AI companion in the coming months, with recent rumors indicating that Samsung is now in the process of developing a rollout plan that would also encompass some of its mid-range and older flagship offerings. Echo devices range from budget mini speakers to the touchscreen-featuring Show and thanks to Amazon's developer-friendly platform, Alexa has been adapted for tasks ranging from party games to controlling your home theater.

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