It’s not a surprise anymore that Samsung will have a surprise or two up their sleeves when they make their major announcements for products. This is much needed since we’re all aware of their financial challenges this 2018 given their lackluster sales for the Galaxy S9. At the unpacked event to launch the Galaxy Note 9, the surprise was that they gave a preview of an upcoming product that has been rumored for months: the Galaxy Home, which serves as a sort of a Bixby speaker.
While they did announce that such a product exists and is in development, what we got was just a preview of what the smart speaker will be bringing in a world of Amazon Echo devices, Google Homes, etc. Samsung Vice President Ji Soo Yi, who is in charge of Bixby, only spoke briefly about this new product and said that more details about it will be revealed at a later date when it is officially announced.
The Galaxy Home will have six mid-to-high speakers and will “send sound in every direction”. It will even come with a subwoofer, so obviously, sound quality is an important element with this smart speaker. It will be using two technologies from subsidiary Harman: Natural Sound Processing which should give you a “realistic surround sound experience” and Soundsteer which points the speaker to your direction. Just say “Hi Bixby, Soundsteer” and it will optimize the playback to where your position is in the room.
Obviously, Galaxy Home will be able to utilize the whole Samsung ecosystem including Smart Things so you’ll be able to use it as a smart home hub. It will use eight microphones for far-field voice recognition so you don’t need to be up close and personal with your smart speaker to give it commands like turning off the lights or turning up the volume to listen to your music.
We’ll know more about this in the next few weeks although there’s no time table yet as to when the release will be. It looks like they’re positioning it as an in-home listening system that just has a few smart capabilities up its sleeve, and of course Bixby. We’ll eventually see how it fares against the more established smart speakers in the market.