Samsung Electronics showed its new AI speaker Galaxy Home Mini at Samsung Bixby Developer Day held at the Convention Center of Sejong University on Nov. 21st.
Samsung Electronics unveiled its first AI speaker, Galaxy Home, in New York in August of last year. However, the company has not released the Galaxy Home until now, one year after unveiling the model. Instead, it will enter the AI speaker market in earnest by launching the Galaxy Home Mini within several months.
While Samsung Electronics focused on the sound quality of the Galaxy Home last year, it emphasized a connection with the Galaxy Home Mini. Using the Galaxy Home Mini, it is possible to control the voice of various home appliances regardless of their manufacturers. In particular, a user can use his voice to control a device without an internet connection.
"We loaded four infrared transmitters on the Galaxy Home Mini. Infrared transmitters are commonly used in remote controllers,” said Lee Ji-soo, a director of the AI Team of the Wireless Business Division at Samsung.
“We can control a device even though the device is not a Samsung product and not connected with the internet.” The Galaxy Home Mini enables you to turn on and off an LGs vacuum cleaner or a Xiaomi air purifier or with your voice. In fact, on the day, Samsung Electronics demonstrated voice control of a Hanil electric fan that did not have an internet connection. "Hi Bixby, turn on the electric fan," a Samsung employee ordered. Then the fan began to run. When the employee said, “Turn the head,” it turned its head right and left.
The Galaxy Home Mini is expected to go on sale within several months as it passed its beta test. It is expected to retail for less than 100,000 won. (USD$85.-)
With the participation of Samsung Electronics, much attention is focusing on what kind of change will take place in the global AI speaker market led by the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.
Most global IT companies are jumping into the AI speaker market as the IoT becomes increasingly important in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the past, the Amazon Echo and Google Home formed a two-runner race but recently Chinese companies such as Alibaba and Baidu are rising as new notable players.
According to market research firm Canalys, Amazon sold 10.40 million AI speakers in the third quarter of this year, accounting for 36.6 percent of the market, followed by Alibaba with 13.6 percent, Baidu with 13.1 percent, Google with 12.3 percent and Xiaomi with 12 percent.
Meanwhile, Samsung also emphasized an AI service Bixby ecosystem. “Bixby is now available for 160 million units of electronic devices including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, TVs, and refrigerators around the world,” said Jung Eui-suk, vice president of software and artificial intelligence at Samsung Electronics.