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Samsung Says It's Working on an Amazon Echo Competitor (cnbc.com) 53

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung is working on a smart speaker that will be launched "soon", the company's mobile chief told CNBC, which will pit it against the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google, in the hotly-contested space. DJ Koh, the president of Samsung's mobile division, said a smart speaker was on the way. "Maybe soon we will announce it. I am already working on it," Koh told CNBC in an interview ahead of the Note 8 smartphone launch which took place on Wednesday. And it appears the company could be moving fast on the product. "As I mentioned I wanted to provide a fruitful user experience at home with Samsung devices, and I want to be moving quite heavily on it," Koh said.
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Samsung Says It's Working on an Amazon Echo Competitor

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  • Competition is good... as long as they have a standard way of interacting with smart devices.

    It's in nobodies best interest if we end up with a bunch of smart devices, some that only work with siri, some that only work with Alexa, some that only work with googly-moogly, and some that only work with Samsung.

    Common interface with smart devices would be nice.

    • Samsung has a history of coming too late to the dance and then trying to compel customers to use their tech. THe next Samsung phone will probably only interact with the SAMSUNG digital assistant.

      There are plenty of options out there now. No one needs a Samsung option this late in the game.

      • by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @02:23PM (#55071027)

        It's not too late, most people don't have one.
        However Samsung just can't make software. Their phones are great, but every single piece of Samsung (not Android) software is total crap and/or redundant. I don't see why it would be any different this time.

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          It's not too late, most people don't have one.

          Most people don't want one.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I suspect Echo's sucess over Google and Apple's voice assistant offerings has to do with Amazon's great developer support for the platform.

          You can easily makes "Skills" (Applications for Echo) and tie them to any service.

          Google and Apple seem to hobble their systems because they're more interested in steering users to their other services rather than providing something useful to end users.

          Samsung, as everyone knows, is shit when it comes to software development. Samsung could save a lot of money and not ev

          • I suspect Echo's sucess over Google and Apple's voice assistant offerings has to do with Amazon's great developer support

            I think the real reason is Google and Apple both offer products at a higher price and with no additional useful features. Choosing either over an Amazon Echo doesn't make much sense.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )

      Depends on whether Samsung makes it harder to use one of their others on their devices. e.g. if their bixby button can't be switched to another assistant.

      Realistically this device isn't going to sell in meaningful numbers outside of South Korea.

    • We need an decent open source voice control platform. Also it should run locally. If it, or part of it, is going to be centralized it should be openly managed by a non-profit foundation or choice of foundations such as Apache, Mozilla, GNU, and Wikipedia. Thankfully it looks like Mozilla is stepping up to the plate. I hope we can support them so they get it done.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just went up.

    • it's the samsung Interactive Explanation Device.
      Probably pretty good at taking down intruders who stray too close to it while breaking into your home. But yeah, gotta worry about your homeowner's insurance.. but then again, a Pyrrhic victory is still a win.

  • Maybe I'm just old (I am) but it just seems kind of pointless. If I want these features my phone has them and I don't have to buy an extra device. Are there features here I'm missing? Does it do anything that Siri & Google's Assistant app don't do?
    • I was wondering this myself. Do that many people really use these things? They always seemed like 'fun toys' rather than something I'd actually use daily to me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Arashi256 ( 1804688 )
        Well, I can't speak for anybody but myself but I bought an Amazon Echo about six months ago because I wanted a Bluetooth speaker and because I'm not an audio-nerd, it sounded just fine in my living room for music streamed from my phone or tablet. The Echo part was just kind of a fun bonus at first. Then I found it very useful for streaming BBC radio. I found out it can play all my Audible books. I use it for the customisable news-flash from the BBC, CNN and Sky News, setting timers, telling me what the weat
        • by Anonymous Coward

          You do realize that they're sending everything you say to the central server to be analyzed for literally EVERYTHING. From your shopping habits to your political leanings, as well as your radicalism score... Perhaps it will call the police when a home break in occurs? Or perhaps it will call the same police when you're watching an action movie on TV?

          • Re: My shopping habits. Well.....yeah. But Amazon would get that information anyway if I were to simply use their website to...you know...buy stuff from Amazon. The rest of your post sounds like paranoid claptrap, I'm afraid. The Echo doesn't transmit ANYTHING until you say the assigned keyword. I know this because I did a network traffic analysis on my Echo as soon as I set it up. So there's that. And the Echo is functionally incapable of calling the emergency services under any circumstances...at least in
      • I was wondering this myself. Do that many people really use these things?

        I use mine dozens of times per day. It is in the kitchen. When I am fixing my morning tea, Alexa updates me on my schedule for the day, and then gives me a five minute news brief. The light switch is across the room from the stove and sink, so it is nice to be able to switch it on and off with my voice. It is great for things like setting timers when my hands are wet. If I notice the milk jug in the refrigerator is getting low, I can just say "Alexa, add milk to the shopping list". Then when I get to

    • by juancn ( 596002 )
      I think the devices are much better at understanding you across the room in a relatively noisy environment than the phones. That's the main driver I believe.
    • In the past I've compared voice control to touchscreen desktops, gesture interfaces, and other gimmicky idiocy. But the truth is that this tech does have meaningful application for hands free or "glance free" situations, and also for the visually or manually impaired. The problem is its being developed as a sales platform, so the current crop sucks.

  • In-home surveillance, via always-listening products, is now a "hotly-contested space".

    And to think curtains and door locks are still a thing these days for the ignorant masses...

    •     There is an open-source implementation that can run on a RP.

        http://www.techradar.com/how-t... [techradar.com]

        https://diyhacking.com/best-vo... [diyhacking.com]

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @02:26PM (#55071041) Journal

    For a long while, Microsoft's business model seemed to be "whatever Google and Apple are doing, do that, too". Every other announcement seemed to follow one by Apple or Google where Microsoft was "and we're ALSO working on that".

    Samsung seems to be following the same pattern. Apple Pay and Android Pay begat Samsung Pay. Siri, Alexa, and OK Google? Here's Bixby!

    Google Home and Amazon Echo? Samsung whatever.

    Good luck with that.

  • Am I the only one who don't want a device listening 24h/7 in my home?

    And why do I want to talk to a plastic device to search/ask for something (and probably repeat 2 or more times because the device didn't understand what I said the first time) ?

    •     Every SciFi movie I've seen has some sort of robot or artificial intelligence interface, especially on every spaceship.

          What's not to like about it? I got one as a gift and use it for some generic stuff, what's the weather, set a timer, add an item to my shopping list. I find it very good at understanding me, even for groceries. I like it. NSA wet dream? Probably. I'll disconnect it if I have have the ISIS weekly meeting at my house.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aix tom ( 902140 )

      Because it feels "Star-Trek-y"

      Like the smart home I visited last weekend, which decided to switch off the lights 2-3 times a hour in irregular intervals with the owner groaning, and switching them on again with his smart-phone. (Which tool 2-3 times longer than taking the two steps to the switch which would have been right there)

  • ... saturation.

    Besides, the goddam things will probably motivate customers to call the fucking fire department using the new toy.

  • an original thought.

    They don't have all the pieces of the puzzle to compete with Apple/Google & Microsoft. Even Amazon has more pieces.

  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2017 @03:18PM (#55071333) Homepage Journal

    I was worried that Samsung had given up on copying everyone else.

  • ...to Samsung Explod.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!

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