Smart speakers and voice assistants are one of the big draws for this year’s CES consumer-tech show in Las Vegas, which kicked off officially yesterday. Among the announcements from day one: news of Samsung’s Galaxy Home Mini smart speaker, whose bigger version the Galaxy Home was first announced in August 2018, but has been missing in action ever since. The smaller Galaxy Home Mini was first announced in August 2019.
Now Samsung says that the device, which is powered by its own Bixby voice assistant, will go on sale early this year. The pitch is less about Alexa-style question-and-answer conversations, and more about the speaker as the hub for lots of connected devices around the home. “It’s not about when we release the product, but it’s more crucial how much further we can evolve the technology. No other speaker in the world can control gadgets as much as Samsung can,” as Samsung consumer electronics boss Hyunsuk Kim put it.
Elsewhere at CES, new smart speakers are proliferating like rabbits. Tech firm Royole showed off a speaker with a wraparound display and an Alexa integration; Belkin and Devialet unveiled a speaker that doubles as a wireless charging pad, with Google Assistant support; and Audea debuted a smart speaker with a screen, capable of running apps like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. We expect more to break cover over the next couple of days.