After announcing it last summer, Samsung is nearing the release of its Bixby Home smart speaker. The device, meant to compete with the Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Sonos speakers, will launch by April. That’s according to co-CEO DJ Koh, who spoke to CNET today.
The Galaxy Home uses Samsung’s own Bixby virtual assistant to respond to a user’s voice commands. Its sound performance is tuned by the company’s AKG division. Samsung first revealed the Galaxy Home during its Note 9 event back in August, but has stayed relatively quiet on launch details ever since. The Home can act as a hub for SmartThings and control any smart home gadgets compatible with that platform by voice.
The company also claims this is “the only AI speaker that intuitively moves a wave of sound directly toward you when you ask it to. So no matter where you are in the room, you’ll find yourself immersed in sound.”
Bixby will need to perform well for the Galaxy Home to make sense as a purchase; it’s competing in the same premium space as HomePod and Sonos gear, while the Echo and Google Home can be had for significantly less money. But Samsung has now spent years and a lot of resources into trying to smarten up its assistant and extend its capabilities.
In a statement to The Verge, a spokesperson would only say: “Samsung is planning to launch Galaxy Home in the first half of 2019.”
Update, February 22nd at 5:35 PM ET: Added Samsung statement.