A recent report from AndroidGuys speculates that Samsung could be developing it’s own smart speaker called Hello to compete directly with Google Home and the Amazon Echo. So what’s the evidence behind these speculations? Samsung recently filed a patent application for a modified version of its Otto Robot in Europe which is believed to be the prototype for the Hello speaker. The company also trademarked the Samsung Hello term with the following description:
“Software that gives personalized features and information based on user’s preferences in the fields of weather, music, entertainment, games, travel, science, health, contact, and social news via voice command and voice recognition.”
Sounds a lot like how one would describe Google Home and the Amazon Echo, right? If these rumors are true, it seems that Samsung will follow a similar roadmap to that of Google. The company’s new Galaxy S8 will contain its new virtual assistant called Bixby, similar to how the Google Pixel phones have the Google Assistant inside. Google leveraged its AI capabilities to launch the Google Home, which appears to also be part of Samsung’s plan with its Hello speaker.
From Partners to Competitors?
Google and Samsung have enjoyed a symbiotic partnership for years. Samsung holds about 20% of the global market share for smart phones, and most of these run on Google’s Android operating system. But Google’s launch of its own line of smart phones and Samsung’s purchase of artificial intelligence start-up Viv signaled that both companies were looking to become less dependent on the other to develop consumer devices. If the Samsung Hello does turn out to be a competitor to Google Home, it will be yet another sign that Samsung is looking to take on Google – moving the relationship from partners towards competitors.