Samsung looking to launch Bixby-enabled speaker to take on Amazon’s Echo

The home speaker, which might be called Vega, seems to be facing delays due to Bixby’s issue with integrating other languages.
Samsung looking to launch Bixby-enabled speaker to take on Amazon’s Echo
Samsung looking to launch Bixby-enabled speaker to take on Amazon’s Echo
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Having invested in its own artificial intelligence (AI) based digital assistant Bixby to rival the other tech majors, Samsung is finding it a little difficult to rollout Bixby smoothly out of its home country, South Korea.

The major issue is that Bixby is yet to be fully equipped to understand the different accents in which the English language is spoken, particularly in a country like the USA. Most other competitors in the field, Amazon (Alexa), Google (Google Assistant) and Apple (SIRI) are all US based and their products have not had any difficulty on this front.

Samsung’s Bixby was developed for the South Korean market first and must be doing exceedingly well there. But since the very concept of the digital assistant is to listen to voice commands and execute them, the inability to understand the words as pronounced by the user could pose problems. This is precisely the reason Samsung has failed to stick to its own deadline of releasing the Bixby-based home speakers in the US market yet.

According to reports, the company’s executives are explaining that their team needs to accumulate a huge amount of data before they can complete the programming of the new device. Readers may recall that a similar English phonetics issue was cited for the non-functioning of certain Bixby related features on the last flagship smartphones Galaxy S8 and S8+ also as far as the US market was concerned.

The other fact disclosed is that there is still gap in communications between Samsung’s US base and their counterparts in S. Korea. This is also causing the delay. A beta version of the product is said to be already available in the US, possibly under testing, but the feedback has not been very encouraging.

The reports on Samsung’s plans for launching a home speaker with the Bixby AI assistant also indicate that the company will call it ‘Vega’ and it is also likely that the speaker might be out in the month of July itself.

A lot is on stake for Samsung when it comes to its AI product and there was an official tweet, even at the time of the release of the S8 smartphones, that Bixby will be ultimately integrated on all Samsung appliances. Observers feel, having raised the pitch, Samsung cannot afford to delay the launch of the feature, with full potential, to be used across the world.    

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