Samsung Electronics is intent on bringing its own voice-controlled smart speaker to market, integrating its Bixby digital assistant, according to multiple reports, but delays in the development of an English-language version of Bixby clouds its arrival date.
According to the Korea Herald, the delays are due to Samsung’s lack of enough big data necessary for the deep learning technology that makes the smart speaker smart. Bixby is currently available in Korean but Samsung had previously said English and Chinese versions would be available by now.
Samsung is already late to the smart speaker party, with Amazon controlling 70 percent of the U.S. market with its Echo line and Google gaining ground with its Google Home device.
Microsoft and Harman announced a jointly developed Cortana smart speaker, Invoke, which will hit the market this fall, and Apple’s HomePod, driven by Siri, is expected to be available for the Q4 holiday shopping period.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Samsung has been working on the English Bixby device for more than a year.
Samsung is hoping its pilot “early access” Bixby program, offered to select U.S. purchasers of its flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone, will yield the data necessary to roll out the English Bixby, the first step in the incorporation of the technology into other Samsung products such as smart appliances and software for vehicles.
Samsung said it would not comment on “speculation.”