Samsung's Bixby assistant is alive and well as we enter 2018, as evidenced by the dedicated Bixby button found on the sides of the new Galaxy S9 and S9+. This week, Samsung explained how we're going to see even more of Bixby later this year.
A smart speaker featuring Bixby will launch in the second half of 2018. That's what D.J. Koh, head of mobile at Samsung, has told the Wall Street Journal. No other details of the voice-activated speaker have been shared, so it's unclear what it'll cost or what kind of features it'll offer.
We've been hearing talk of a Bixby smart speaker since July 2017, and at the end of last year, rumors said that Samsung would launch the device in the first half of 2018. Now it looks like the wait will be a bit longer, which could make things a bit more difficult for the Bixby speaker when it does launch since its competition will now have time to improve. We don't know what kind of features the Bixby speaker will have at launch beyond the likely ability to answer questions about the weather and stuff like that, though, so we'll just have to wait and see what Samsung cooks up.
In other Bixby news, Koh told ZDNet that Samsung could launch Bixby 2.0 alongside the Galaxy Note 9. Bixby 2.0 was originally announced in October 2017 and is slated to feature better natural language capabilities that should result in more natural commands. The upgraded assistant will also work on devices beyond phones, including TVs, refrigerators, and other connected devices.