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Is Samsung working on its own smart speaker?

AI-assisted smart speakers are becoming incresingly popular, since Amazon launched its Echo device.

Just this week, Apple debuted its own HomePod device during the WWDC event, which will arrive, fully powered by Siri, later this year.

And now, according to a new report from Korea, rival firm Samsung has plans to introduce its own take on the smart speaker.

Related: Google Home

As the Korea Herald reports, Samsung is “rumored” to be working on a “home audio device” which is likely to be powered by the company’s virtual assistant, Bixby.

Bixby is the same assistant that debuted on the company’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, which were both launched back in April.

The firm has previously spoken about bringing more connected products to market, touting Bixby as a service designed to work with an entire lineup of IoT devices, rather than a smartphone-specific assistant.

Sammy has also reportedly been granted patents for the rumoured standalone speaker in South Korea – though, there’s been no official word from the company at this point.

amazon echoThe Amazon Echo is the current king of the smart speakers

Which is why it remains unclear whether the rumours are true, and if so, when the speaker might come to market.

Ealier this year Samsung was granted a trademark for a device known as the “Samsung Hello,” which was listed as voice-enabled software for managing digital content.

It could be that Samsung Hello relates to the rumoured smart speaker in some way, but the whole thing remains a mystery for now.

Samsung is already somewhat involved in the smart speaker game, as its Harman Kardon subsidiary is currently working with Microsoft on the Cortana-powered Invoke speaker.

With that being the case, Sammy could be planning to hold off on launching its own smart speaker until the Invoke has been around for a while – though, again, this is all speculation at this point.

Apple’s recently-launched HomePod is focused more on the audio side of things, and comes packing a four-inch upfiring woofer, plus seven tweeters.

Powered by Apple’s A8 chip, the device is also spatially aware, and is able to adjust its sound based on where it sits in a room.

It’ll be competing with the likes of Google Home, the Amazon Echo, and the upcoming Invoke speaker from Microsoft.

Samsung’s entry into the smart speaker market remains unconfirmed for now, but considering the increasing popularity of such devices, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple’s HomePod eventually has yet another competitor to contend with.

Let us know if you want to see more smart speakers in the comments.

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