In recent years, there has been a trend for SLimme speakers. A large number of manufacturers are bringing smart speakers with a voice assistant. Some are compatible with the Google Assistant, others with Siri or Amazon Alexa. In this race, Korean manufacturer Samsung is all set to launch its first smart speaker with Bixby, the Galaxy Home. However, the brand seems to be working on a completely different kind of design.
Smart speaker with Bixby speech assistant, camera and display
Halfway through March 2019, Samsung Electronics filed a patent with the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) for an “Electronic device and method for operating the same.” The patent was published on September 19, 2019. On the same date, this patent was also included in the WIPO database (World Intellectual Property Office).
The Samsung smart speaker consists of a ball surrounded by a ring that can rotate independently of each other because the ball enables the speakers to rotate itself; these speakers can also move. The ball is provided with artificial intelligence and also serves as a smart loudspeaker allowing the device to provide an ’emotionally attractive stimulus’, according to the patent description.
The smart speakers will roll towards you as you start talking to the speaker. The mobile home robot is equipped with a camera and an infrared sensor, which can explore the environment and calculate the distance to objects, which enables the speaker to move towards the user. However, if the robot ball is obstructed in its way by other objects, the electronic device is intelligent enough to determine a new path and thus continue its path.
The camera can record both photos and videos, and the camera module can also consist of multiple lenses. In addition, both the ball and the outer ring are provided with magnets, so that the ball can repair itself quickly if it is unfavorable. The housing itself will be provided with scratch-resistant material. A flash can also be added.
There is a touchscreen display installed in the ring, which will also have an in-display fingerprint scanner or an iris sensor. The Samsung smart home robot is also capable of playing music and taking calls. In addition, a speech assistant will be built in (probably Samsung Bixby) so that you can give voice commands and have commands executed. Other important components that are integrated with the outer ring are an audio module and a battery.
This smart home device can be equipped with an HDMI connection, a USB connection, a 3.5mm connection, and a microSD memory card interface, as is stated in the extensive patent description. This means that this Bixby smart speaker is also connected to other smart home devices, allowing the mobile robot to control these devices. There is also talk about Bluetooth, WiFi, and LAN support. For example, think of smart lighting, but also smart home security.
Other smart speaker models
Well, you may find the new Samsung robot ball familiar, then you are not wrong. You may find it similar to the LG released the Rolling Bot three years ago. However, this was not a smart speaker, and you had to connect the robot to an iOS or Android device. The LG speaker was equipped with a built-in speech assistant, let alone with artificial intelligence.
At LG they had already thought that this could be a fun toy for the cat. To prevent the device itself from falling prey, a special Pet mode was built in, after which the ball starts moving around on its own and shows a laser beam for the cat to catch at the back.
However, it is not known whether the Samsung smart speaker will sport the same functions and features as the patent does not deal with the operating options; the focus is on which components being used. The LG Rolling Bot, for example, was not provided with a display; in addition, the version of Samsung seems to be somewhat smaller. Similar technology is of course already used with intelligent vacuum cleaner robots, but also with lawnmower robots.
The Samsung Galaxy Home was already announced in August 2018, as the first Bixby speaker. However, this smart device is still not available.
During the press presentation of the Galaxy S10, earlier this year, the Samsung CEO had informed that the Galaxy Home would be available from April 2019. Once this date had passed, rumors were released about a release in the third quarter of 2019. However, we all can expect a new announcement soon.