Samsung will fight HomePod with Bixby smart speaker

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Phil Schiller gives the world a sneak peek at the HomePod during WWDC 2017.
We'd love to see Apple lavish some more attention on the HomePod.
Photo: Apple

There isn’t an Apple product Samsung doesn’t have an answer to, so it’s not surprising to hear the South Korean company is developing its own HomePod rival.

It will be powered by Bixby, the Galaxy S8’s new virtual assistant, but it’s likely to be a while before it’s ready to hit the market.

Samsung didn’t appear to be too interested in the smart speaker business when Amazon kickstarted it with the Echo two years ago. But sources say the company has been working on a device for over a year so far.

A report from The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the plans, claims Samsung’s own smart speaker is in development and will be powered by Bixby. It will likely use technology Samsung now owns following its $8 billion acquisition of Harman last November.

Other features and specifications are “yet to be decided,” the report adds, and given that Bixby still doesn’t support the English language, it’s likely to be a long time before Samsung’s speaker — codenamed “Vega” internally — is ready to hit the market.

But it’s likely Vega will offer the same kind of functionality we’ve come to expect from these devices, like fetching information, creating reminders and calendar events, playing music, and controlling other smart devices around your home.