A report claims that Samsung is working on a smart speaker powered by its own digital assistant Bixby, a move that will further tighten the race in the growing industry.

Apple recently announced the HomePod, a challenger to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers. If the report is true, Samsung will soon make it a four-horse race.

Samsung Bixby Speaker Coming Soon?

According to a report by the Korean Herald, there are rumors that Samsung is working on a "home audio device" that will likely be powered by Bixby, its new voice assistant that was partially rolled out alongside the Galaxy S8.

Samsung is said to have acquired design patents for a new standalone audio device just as the company was looking to expand the applications of Bixby. This increases the likelihood that we will soon see a Bixby-powered smart speaker from Samsung.

The report coincides with a report from last month on two patents that were granted to Samsung. While the first patent was for a Note smartphone, the second one was simply for an audio device.

The Bixby-powered smart speaker could possibly be named the Samsung Hello, which is a trademark that was acquired by Samsung back in February. At the time, it was believed that Samsung Hello was the real name of Bixby or one of the digital assistant's features. The trademark has not yet surfaced in any Samsung product, which makes it a possible option for the upcoming smart speaker's name.

Microsoft Cortana Speaker Also On Its Way?

Samsung will not be working alone on its planned Bixby speaker though. Harman Kardon, a subsidiary of Samsung, is said to be working with Microsoft on another smart speaker powered by Cortana. As with other smart speakers, the Cortana speaker named Invoke will allow users to issue voice commands for a variety of tasks.

Invoke is expected to be released in the third quarter of the year, which means that the Bixby speaker will not likely roll out until much later, perhaps even next year.

Will The Samsung Bixby Speaker Succeed?

If Samsung will not roll out the Bixby Speaker until next year, its competitors in the space may already have had a significant lead by then. The Amazon Echo has already released several variants, the Google Home is evolving, and the Apple HomePod is set to be released later this year.

Before Samsung should get around to building Bixby into a smart speaker, however, the company should first iron out all the issues surrounding the digital assistant. Last week, a report claimed that in internal testing, Bixby was having trouble with understanding the grammar and syntax of the English language.

Its troubles with learning English caused the delay of the full rollout of the digital assistant. The voice component of Bixby was initially expected to be launched in May, but it was pushed back to June. Bixby, however, could be further delayed.

Whether the idea of bringing Bixby into a smart speaker is a bad one will not be known for sure until, or if, Samsung releases the device. By then, the Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Microsoft Invoke will be ready for a new challenger.

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