|Yi Ji-soo, Samsung Electronics' vice president of AI strategy describes the new Galaxy Home AI speaker during its launch in New York, Thursday. / Reuters-Yonhap|
By Baek Byung-yeul
NEW YORK -- Samsung Electronics has made its debut in the artificial intelligence (AI) speaker market by introducing its AI speaker, Galaxy Home, in New York, Thursday.
In front of about 4,000 reporters and its business partners from all over the world, Yi Ji-soo, vice president of AI strategy at Samsung, introduced various features of the Galaxy Home, a combined product of speaker and Samsung's AI assistant Bixby.
He said that to ensure its premium sound quality, Samsung is using 160 Galaxy Home devices to play the device's introductory video.
Design-wise, the Galaxy Home looks like a small black pot supported by a tripod-like stand.
Yi said the device has a built-in subwoofer and eight microphones for far-filed voice recognition.
However, Samsung didn't provide details such as pricing or the launch date of the Galaxy Home.
The company said those details will become available during the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, November.
Amid the rise of AI and internet of things (IoT) technologies, the global AI speaker market has been emerging rapidly.
According to industry tracker Canalys, the number of AI speakers across the world is expected to reach 100 million by the end of the year and 225 million by 2020.
In the global AI speaker market, the Galaxy Home will compete with Amazon's Echo, Google Home and Apple's HomePod speakers.
Samsung also unveiled its updated version of Bixby assistant.
The firm said that the new generation of Bixby will be more proficient at processing natural language and predicting users' needs, noting that the Galaxy Note 9 will be the first device to use the upgraded version of Bixby.
During the event, Samsung gave demonstrations of the updated Bixby.
For example, when asked about "what concerts are happening in Brooklyn over Labor Day weekend?" Bixby listed nearby events.
Bixby also recommends things based on its user's individual preferences. When it was asked to find a new restaurant, Bixby showed possible options based on the type of restaurants where the user has made reservations in the past.
During the demonstration, Bixby brought up a list of French restaurants as the demonstrator tends to prefer to eat at French restaurants. With Bixby, users can also call for Uber rides.
The Korean tech giant also announced its partnership with popular music streaming service, Spotify.
During the event, Samsung demonstrated Spofity, showing how users will be able to switch music between Samsung devices including their smartphone, TV and refrigerator. With the partnership, Spotify will be the default music provider of the Galaxy Home.
Samsung explained that Spotify and Samsung accounts will be able to be linked for smart home integration through Samsung's SmartThings app that controls devices.
"We believe this is significant long-term partnership will provide Samsung users across millions of devices with the best possible music streaming experience, and make discovering new music easier than ever with even more opportunities to come," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said.