It has been an on and off effort by Samsung on working toward release of their own version of a smart home assistant device to compete with Google Home, Amazon Echo and the Apple HomePod. In July word first came out that Samsung was working on a device to compete in that market, but progress was slow due to troubles experienced with the Bixby technology that would power the devices. Shortly after that news surfaced, sources indicated Samsung had decided to abandon the effort apparently judging their entry into the market as being too late. While making the rounds in connection with the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 this week, Samsung’s DJ Koh indicates the company is moving forward with plans for a home assistant device.
In an interview with CNBC, Koh noted, “Maybe soon we will announce it. I am already working on it.” Part of the new enthusiasm could be related to Samsung’s efforts to get Bixby working properly for English speaking users. That was of primary importance for the company in terms of the U.S. market. However, the initiative is bearing fruit on a global scale as Samsung recently extended support for English to over 200 countries and territories, a point that even came up during the Note 8 launch event.
As far as possibly being in the market too late, especially compared to Google Home and Amazon Echo devices, all may not be lost for Samsung. The company has one thing going for it the others do not and that is the diversification of its portfolio. Samsung is a conglomerate producing a wide rang of products in almost every category of home appliance or technology. The potential exists to help consumers make the mental connection between their Samsung TVs and refrigerators and a new Samsung Bixby powered device.
Koh did not provide any information regarding a timeline for a device launch. He did indicate the company is “moving quite heavily on it.” Samsung will almost certainly want to capitalize on the upcoming holiday shopping season, so a launch sometime in the next few months seems likely.