The theme of this week’s Unpacked was connectivity. Throughout the show the notion of a Samsung ‘ecosystem’ with seamlessly connected devices was continuously touched upon.
Galaxy Notes. Galaxy Tabs. Galaxy Watches. The branding was strong.
This all built up to a crescendo, which was the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Home — a brand new standalone smart speaker. Here is what we know so far.
The design has been divisive online to say the least. Some agree with Samsung’s summation of it being elegant. Others thought differently…
— kratua ขอนอนอีกครึ่งชั่วโมง (@itua) August 9, 2018
No. This isn’t a joke. This is actually what Samsung’s #GalaxyHome smart speaker looks like. I can’t decide whether to throw a steak on top of it or whip up a batch of witch’s brew inside of it. What I definitely wouldn’t do is put it in my home. pic.twitter.com/UVTONSxPK2
— Derek (@dereknoneya) August 9, 2018
Grilling aside (sorry), the Galaxy Home is equipped to provide a realistic surround sound experience — including AKG, full-range speakers and a subwoofer with that rich bass.
It is designed to optimise the sound for wherever you are in a room and uses SoundSteer to direct music towards you.
It also contains far-field voice recognition, making it easier than ever to hit up Bixby, which is built in along with the Smart Things hub.
It was also announced at Unpacked that Samsung is partnering with Spotify to provide customers with a seamless music experience.
This translates into making music devices work together wherever you are — whether that’s at home or on the go.
What the partnership aims to create is a true cross-platform listen experience. In the real world that would mean listening to a song on your phone, and then having it swap to and pick up in the exact same spot on a Galaxy Home with the press of a button.
We saw it in action at the conference, and not a single note was skipped.
This functionality will also be integrated into Samsung Smart TVs in the near future. Users will be able to link their spotify account to the TV through the Smart Things app and at some point also be able to control it with Bixby.
While we don’t know any other details yet, the Galaxy Home is clearly trying to seriously compete with the likes likes of Amazon Alexa and Google Home — particularly when it becomes further integrated into the wider Samsung AI ecosystem.
But will it be successful? Bixby isn’t the most beloved AI assistant on the block, so it may take some convincing.
However, if the future of the Galaxy ecosystem is as impressive as Samsung is saying it will be, perhaps we’re witnessing the first steps towards a game a changer.
The Samsung Galaxy Home doesn’t have a release date as yet, but we have it pegged for later this year.
The author traveled to New York as a guest of Samsung.
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