Samsung’s new Galaxy Home speaker may be a sign of the times for the saturated smart speaker market.
I remember when I first transitioned from the iPhone I got from AT&T to my first ever Samsung Galaxy S6…in 2014. You can call me a late bloomer, but I prefer the term “patient consumer”.
It took some time for me to adjust to the power of choice and control of the phone and not having to pay for ringtones that weren’t stock. But I have grown to LOVE Android and could never go back to an iPhone. However…there’s still one thorn stuck in my side.
Bixby, Samsung’s built-in assistant, is kind of like Clippy from Microsoft.
He isn’t helpful, he doesn’t really work that well, and he’s mostly just incredibly annoying. I would also argue the same for Cortana in recent Microsoft Windows iterations.
So how did the internet respond to the reveal of a Bixby home speaker “Galaxy Home“?
Minimal Details in a Lackluster Demo
The Bixby smart home speaker does almost exactly the same things that Alexa, Echo, Google Home, and other smart speakers do. It even utilizes fabric similar to that uses various Google Home Mini models.
It features omnidirectional speakers as well as eight far-field mics for voice support. Due to Samsung’s partnership with Spotify, the Bixby speaker should integrate seamlessly with that service, too.
Samsung also claims that Bixby is smarter now thanks to better contextual language recognition. Though we don’t know if they are using a chatbot program with natural language processing like Inbenta, it is neat that you don’t have to install a Yelp app in order to make a reservation via Yelp using Bixby.
Samsung couched the Bixby speaker announcement between smartphone and conference news. However, Samsung didn’t announce a release date or price for the new gizmo.
With nothing else to distract itself, the internet took hold of its latest meme inspiration.
— Jeff Bakalar (@jeffbakalar) August 9, 2018
First Came the Promo Images…Then Came the Memes
As with almost everything, the Internet converged on the Bixby speaker images with the mightiest fury of the most powerful memelords in history.
The above tweet is just one example of how internet denizens lampooned the Samsung reveal. Others made comparisons to other objects such as beauty sponge holders, cauldrons, and mortars and pestles.
Some Gizmodo commenters called it the “Samsung cauldron” while others lamented the debut of yet another smart home speaker in an already saturated market.
The Galaxy Home may have an onboard subwoofer with AKG audio tuning, but there is a reason the internet latched onto the speaker’s design as the target of their memification.
The three-legged contraption seems at odds with the more streamlined designs of its competitors. The technology is lagging in comparison, as well.
But Please, Samsung, Bixby Isn’t Going to Happen
In fact, the Reddit thread where I found that image is almost entirely about people finding ways to disable or remove Bixby functions.
Despite Samsung’s continual support for the Bixby infrastructure, users just don’t like it.
When the company does announce a release date and price point for the Galaxy Home, perhaps we can better pinpoint why Samsung keeps putting eggs in the Bixby basket.