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Samsung Levels Sights on Amazon in Bixby Speaker Bout

The smart speaker war is heating up.

Samsung is entering the fray.

News came Wednesday that the tech giant – in addition to bringing the Galaxy Note 8 to market next month – is in the midst of working on a smart speaker that will go head to head, or speaker to speaker, with Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and in another upcoming launch, HomePod by Apple.

CNBC.com reported that the speaker offering was confirmed by Samsung Mobile’s DJ Koh.  The Samsung product will feature the company’s personal assistant, Bixby.

As reported by CNBC, Koh said in an interview that, “Maybe soon we will announce it. I am already working on it.” That interview took place ahead of the Unpacked event geared toward launching the newest Note 8. In other remarks to that site, Koh said, “As I mentioned, I wanted to provide a fruitful user experience at home with Samsung devices, and I want to be moving quite heavily on it.”

Among the ultimate aims would be to link Bixby with smart home devices including thermostats and kitchen appliances.  The Note 8 smartphone will also feature the assistant, which would allow devices to be controlled through that smartphone.  Bixby’s reach is broadening, with news this week that the assistant is going to be available across 200 countries globally.

In news tied to the Note 8, which debuted Wednesday, the new device will have a larger display, at 6.3 inches, than has been seen with the S8, as well as some familiar features — the tell-tale stylus, two cameras and a fingerprint scanner.  During the unveiling of the new device on Wednesday, the company noted the presence of a physical button for Bixby. The biometric features for the Note 8 are similar to those of the S8 — in addition to the fingerprint recognition feature, they include facial recognition and an iris scanner.

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