At Unpacked 2018, Samsung announced a number of updates to Bixby, but more importantly expanded its smart assistant to a new form factor. The company already makes home audio products, but the Galaxy Home is its first direct entry to compete with Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple’s HomePod.
The Bixby smart speaker is rather uniquely shaped and reminiscent of a cauldron or vase that has a wider base and slopes in above. Standing on three tiny metal legs, the entire device is covered in a black fabric, save for a flat and circular surface. Media controls are arranged in a circle with a spinning indicator to note activity.
Samsung touted a high range and a subwoofer that delivers rich base with Harman Kardon and AKG. Eight microphones allow for far-field voice recognition with the ability detect a user’s location and direct audio towards them with a “Hi Bixby, SteerSound” command. It can also be used to adapt to the specific contours of a room.
Like other speakers today, this device can communicate with a whole range of home appliances and devices from Samsung’s SmartThing ecosystem.
Unlike other products Samsung announced today, this was just a “first look” at the Galaxy Home, though the company did use 60 smart speakers in conjunction to deliver audio for part of the announcement.
Samsung will be sharing more details soon, touting that third-parties can learn more about the ecosystem at the Samsung Developer Conference in November.