All eyes are on Samsung’s planned launch of its Galaxy S9 flagship in February, but new reports suggest that the company could also be planning to launch a new TV at a separate ‘Unpacked’ event in New York.
Given the popularity of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Samsung is very keen to ensure that its Bixby voice assistant is available on almost every product it makes. The clock is ticking, however. Amazon and Google have managed to pretty much corner the market when it comes to smart speakers, and third-party manufacturers have now added the assistants to their TVs, fridges, and just about any other device that has a computer chip.
Thankfully, Samsung is blessed by its size. The company is almost unmatched in its product line-up; offering everything from home appliances to smartphones to computers to TVs. It alluded to its Bixby-everywhere plan at CES 2018, and a Samsung executive confirmed to Business Korea that the firm has a strategy to ‘load Bixby into all products by 2020’.
Bixby first debuted on Samsung’s smartphone line-up, where it has seen lukewarm reception and moderate success. Washing machines with the technology are set to launch in the spring, but a key pillar in the company’s strategy will be the roll-out to its TV sets. Like the smartphone market, Samsung is the dominant player in TVs. It sells almost double the number of sets as its nearest competitor, LG. This gives it a good platform in which to flood the market with the Bixby AI.
It’s thought that when Bixby arrives on Samsung’s new TV, it’ll be a different version as to what everyone is used to on their smartphone. In fact, the next generation of Bixby is set to be unveiled alongside the Galaxy S9 at the end of February, and this is the version that will debut on the new TV. With it, users should be able to queue up content using voice commands; allowing them to search for content by actors or directors, and across different streaming services.
Samsung will have to offer something new to truly excite consumers about its Bixby voice AI, however. The Google Assistant is already available on a plethora of Android TVs, and offers similar functionality. Alexa has also been flooding the TV market, albeit with more budget-friendly models, meaning consumers have plenty of choice when it comes to TV voice assistants.
It’s unlikely that a new TV will be the only thing debuted in March. If Samsung really wants its entire product line-up to get Bixby functionality by 2020, then it will need to start announcing new products with the technology soon.