There's been little word on Samsung's Galaxy Home speaker since it was announced last August, but the company has confirmed we'll see it by April.
The Galaxy Home is both a Bixby speaker and a SmartThings home hub (of course). 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".
It's built AKG with Harman technology to optimise sound based on where you are in the room, and you'll be able to wake up Samsung's assistant with a "Hi Bixby", which the speaker will hear using its eight far-field microphones.
Back at the August event, Daniel Ek from Spotify 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 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.
The speaker, according to Samsung, will be able to "intuitively moves a wave of sound directly toward you when you ask it to" and we have no idea what that's going to sound like - but we're certainly eager to find out.
Samsung also talks of "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.