Samsung Galaxy Home is a Bixby speaker with Spotify and SmartThings

Samsung finally plays its smart speaker card - here's what we know

Samsung Galaxy Home is a Bixby hub

Samsung's Bixby speaker is go - at Samsung Unpacked in New York we got our first look at the Samsung Galaxy Home, a smart speaker and SmartThings home hub all-in-one.

We don't have a price or release date yet - we'll hear more at the Samsung Developer Conference on 7 - 8 November. It's a bulb-shaped smart speaker with legs that looks like a gadget fondue or as contributing editor Husain Sumra puts, it "a decapitated Rosie Jetson".

What we do know is that it's built with AKG with Harman technology to optimise sound based on where you are in the room. There's Bixby voice controls via eight far-field microphones and a "Hi Bixby" wake word.

Daniel Ek from Spotify also got up on stage to show how you'll be able to link your SmartThings and Spotify accounts and seamlessly switch from listening on your phone to listening on a Galaxy Home or Samsung smart TV. And controlling Spotify via Bixby voice controls is "coming soon" for the upcoming Galaxy Home - take that, Apple HomePod.

Samsung Galaxy Home is a Bixby speaker with Spotify and SmartThings

Back to the Galaxy Home and Samsung is touting an "open, unified ecosystem" of home controls, powered by this device. We've been saying for a while that a voice controlled smart speaker is the missing link for SmartThings which already has the advantage of Samsung smart TVs in the living room and inroads into the kitchen and appliances like robot vacs. In recent months, Samsung has been streamlining its various apps and platforms into one easy to use service.

Samsung also spoke of its "scalable AI platform" but the Galaxy Home's Achilles Heel will be Bixby itself which is widely considered to far behind the voice recognition, accuracy and natural language processing capabilities of Alexa and Google Assistant. We didn't get any new details on Bixby 2.0 at the conference.

We'll be keeping an eye on Samsung Galaxy Home news and update this story when we get more information.


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